Netanyahu Freezes Planned Construction in Controversial E-1 Zone
Israel’s Housing Ministry has published tenders for 20,000 new homes across the Green Line, including 1,200 in the contentious E-1 zone, which links Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim in territory claimed by the Palestinian Authority, Israeli media reported Tuesday.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the publication of the tender by ordering the Housing Minister to put a halt to any construction plans for E-1, Israeli media said.
The E-1 area is a main artery between Judea, in the south, and Samaria, in the north, where the PA has claimed Israeli construction there makes a future unified state impossible. While Israel explains construction as suburban sprawl from Jerusalem, new homes have become a point of contention between Israel and the United States. In 2012, then-Secretary of State Hilary Clinton criticized Israel for its settlement of the area.