E1 hilltop taken from Hebrew University on Mt. Scopus 370.
(photo credit:TOVAH LAZAORFF)
Ma’aleh Adumim Mayor Benny Kashriel is urging Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
to sign the plans for 3,500 housing units in E1, an empty area in his West Bank
After waiting for 18 years, Kashriel was given permission to
deposit the plans before the Higher Planning Council of Judea and Samaria last
month. But the council passed the plans back to the city for revisions,
according to Kashriel.
The city has since made the necessary technical
corrections, but Netanyahu’s signature is needed in order to deposit the plans
again with the council.
On Friday, the Hebrew daily Yediot Aharonot
its associated Internet site Ynet, published a story explaining that Netanyahu
had yet to sign these plans.
As of Saturday night, Kashriel told The
that he was still waiting for Netanyahu’s signature to deposit
“There has been no change regarding the November 30 decision
to continue to advance the planning of E1,” the Prime Minister’s Office
The decision on E1 was a direct response to the United Nations
General Assembly decision to upgrade the status of the Palestinian delegation to
that of an observer nonmember state.
The Palestinian Authority and the
international community have condemned the decision to build in the area, with
the PA warning that construction in E1 harms the contiguous development of a
Palestinian state and destroys the possibility of a two-state solution on the
Israel has insisted that development of E1 does not harm
the two-state solution and that it is understood that Ma’aleh Adumim and E1
would be part of Israel in any final-status agreement with the
Nevertheless, up until November, Israel had bowed to
international pressure not to develop E1.
Given the government’s past
failure to advance E1 plans, Ma’aleh Adumim residents believe that it is
important that Netanyahu sign those plans before the elections, or risk losing
the support of Likud voters in that city.
MK Uri Ariel (National Union),
who is running on the Bayit Yehudi ticket, said that the absence of Netanyahu’s
signature on the E1 plans proves that all his talk of supporting Judea and
Samaria settlements is simply a cynical spin and will not last beyond the
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