(JNS) — The Knesset Land of Israel Caucus toured the Binyamin region in Samaria on Thursday to get a first-hand perspective on the issues facing the residents there.
Binyamin is the most populous regional council jurisdiction in Israel, with more than 200,000 residents living in 50 communities in the hills north of Jerusalem.
The MKs heard from the regional activists and council leaders, as well as government officials including Environment Minister Idit Silman.
Likud lawmaker Yuli Edelsten told Arutz 7 about the environmental damage caused by Palestinians in the area.
“I’m happy to be here … to see what we have to take care of immediately, and unfortunately, what we see around us is a lot of problems, especially in the field of the environment. No one is really trying to prevent the Palestinians from causing damage for the future generations here and all over, for themselves and for the Jews,” Edelstein said.
“On the other hand, I’m happy to see the development of different communities here; I remember them as small but now they are quickly developing. They are much bigger and I sincerely believe that we as members of Knesset can work to see that something that has to be taken care of is taken care of and, on the other hand, to help develop Judea and Samaria and the whole State of Israel.”
The Land of Israel Caucus is one of the largest and most active in the Knesset. Its mission is to “strengthen the State of Israel’s hold” on Judea and Samaria. It is chaired by Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and Education Minister Yoav Kisch.
MK Simcha Rothman, chairman of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, discussed the illegal actions taken by the Palestinians in the area in an interview with Arutz 7.
“We try to raise awareness to the fact that the Palestinian Authority, besides what we already know that they do with ‘pay to slay’ and paying for terrorists, they are also actively working underground to go against the Oslo Accords,” Rothman said.
“The fact that these things happen with the support of the American administration and countries from the E.U. that actually pay for illegal buildings in Area C [of Judea and Samaria], which is not supposed to be a place for unilateral actions by the Palestinian Authority, creates instability in those places,” he said.
“This creates the backbone of the future Palestinian state, and we all know that the Palestinian state will be a failed state and a terror state. The way they behaved before they even started to plan their state shows that their plan for this area is not peace, and it’s not prosperity, and it’s definitely not a solution to anything that we see here in Israel,” Rothman said.
The MKs also visited the memorial for Shuli Har-Melech, the husband of Otzma Yehudit Party MK Limor Son Har-Melech whom Palestinian terrorists murdered in August 2003.
Har-Melech was seven months pregnant with her second child when her husband was killed and she was seriously wounded in the attack. She was listed in critical condition and her daughter was born prematurely by Cesarean section several hours later.
Speaking at the memorial, Har-Melech called it a “tremendous victory.”