(JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that “we will deepen our roots in all parts of our homeland” during a ceremony in the West Bank.
Netanyahu attended a cornerstone-laying ceremony for over 600 housing units in the Beit El settlement on Thursday morning, hours after an Israeli student was found stabbed to death in the Etzion bloc south of Jerusalem. He appeared to be calling for extending Israeli sovereignty to areas of the West Bank.
“Our mission is to establish the Jewish people in its land and to ensure our sovereignty in our historical homeland. We know that the Land of Israel is acquired through tribulations. Today fell one of the best of our sons from a family that has already sacrificed heavily for the Land of Israel,” Netanyahu said during the ceremony.
Dvir Sorek, 19, was a hesder yeshiva student at the Machanaim yeshiva in Migdal Oz, near where his body was found. His grandfather, Rabbi Binyamin Herling, was killed in a terror attack in October 2000.
“These reprehensible terrorists come to uproot; we come to plant. They come to destroy; we come to build. We will apprehend those who seek our lives and we will deepen our roots in all parts of our homeland,” Netanyahu also said.
Following the attack, several right-wing lawmakers and politicians called on the government to apply sovereignty to the West Bank, beginning with Gush Etzion.