Israel is determined to move police to a new West Bank headquarters by the end of the year, officials said Monday, despite US concerns that development in that particular area near Jerusalem harms prospects for establishing a viable Palestinian state.
The United States has blocked Israeli efforts in the past to develop the 12-square-kilometer (4.6 square-mile) area, known as E-1 and located just east of Jerusalem. Israel has proposed building 3,500 homes, several hotels and an industrial park there, but has frozen the plan at the urging of the US.
The E-1 project, if completed, would effectively cut off east Jerusalem from the West Bank.
In the meantime, Israel has gone ahead with building a four-story police station in the E-1 area, with officials reportedly arguing that any security installation, as opposed to homes, could always be removed in the future.