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February 7, 2022 10:29 am
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Israel Freezes Plans to Connect Jerusalem to Ma’ale Adumim Due to US, Meretz ressure

avatar by Israel Hayom / JNS.org

View of Ma’aleh Adumim in Judea and Samaria on Jan. 1, 2017. Photo: Yaniv Nadav / Flash90.

JNS.org – Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett have ordered the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria’s supreme planning council to halt discussions on the authorization of construction to connect Ma’ale Adumim to Jerusalem in the E-1 corridor.

Construction had been planned for some 3,000 acres of largely government-owned land and was to include some 3,500 housing units.

The committee began to discuss the plan, which had been frozen for years, toward the end of the previous government, under Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu. Bennett and Gantz intervened in the fourth of six authorization stages, after most of the Palestinian objections to the move were heard.

The government directive to stop the talks and the promotion of the plan followed opposition from Washington and sharp criticism from the Meretz Party, which made clear it saw the advancement of construction as the crossing of a red line. The United States has for years taken the Palestinian side on the issue, claiming the plan would cut off Palestinian territorial continuity from the north to the south and could prevent the establishment of a future Palestinian state.

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The Israeli position, however, is that the plan would not harm any such continuity, which does not exist to begin with, and which, if it should become necessary, could see the E-1 corridor circumvented via roads, tunnels and other construction. All government heads, beginning with the late Yitzhak Rabin, who initiated the plan, have expressed public support for the move but found it difficult to advance due to diplomatic pressure.

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