Netanyahu vows no dismantlement of settlements
JERUSALEM - Agence France-Presse
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. REUTERS PhotoIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged today that there would be no dismantlement of any Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank if he wins a general election next week.
Asked in an interview with the Maariv newspaper: "Can you promise that during the next four years, no settlement will be dismantled?" Netanyahu answered: "Yes." "The days when bulldozers uprooted Jews are behind us, not in front of us. Our record proves it," he said.
"We haven't uprooted any settlements, we have expanded them," he said, recalling that his government had established the first university in a settlement, in Ariel deep in the West Bank.
"Nobody has any lessons to give me about love for the Land of Israel or commitment to Zionism and the settlements," he added.
Netanyahu was alluding to the strong opinion poll showing of the pro-settler Jewish Home party which has been championing accelerated settlement expansion and looks set to take seats from the prime minister's rightwing list in Tuesday's election.