In a view that is likely to provoke anger as well as violence by many Palestinians, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said during talks with settler leaders yesterday that Israel has a "right" to build settlements in the occupied West Bank, the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website reports today (August 25, 2015).
"I love the land of Israel with all my heart. I have never and will never give up on this land. For me, our right to this land is not a matter of political debate. It is a basic fact of modern Zionism," Rivlin said.
For Rivlin the "land of Israel" includes the occupied West Bank where Jewish settlements are considered illegal under international law, meaning the settlements may be demolished in the near future.
The settlements are considered a major obstacle to peace negotiations with the Palestinians, who see the land as part of a future independent Palestinian state. The West Bank was seized from the Arabs by Israel in a 1967 Arab-Israeli war.