(photo credit: TOVAH LAZAROFF)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu advanced plans for 560 new setter home in Ma’aleh Adumim just hours after right-wing politicians called on him to annex that West Bank Jewish city.
Ma’aleh Adumim mayor Benny Kashriel said he heard that the plans would be deposited from both the offices of the prime minister and the defense minister.
But while the thanked Netanyahu, right-wing ministers and politicians said the small gesture was not enough.
“The Majority of the Israeli public won’t be satisfied with this,” the Land of Israel caucus said on Sunday night.
“We’re working [to authorize] massive building in Ma’aleh Adumim and to impose sovereignty there and in all of Judea and Samaria,” the caucus said.
It held a meeting in Ma’aleh Adumim earlier in the evening, in which its lawmakers said they plan to introduce legislation in the Knesset within two weeks to annex the settlement.
“Terrorism will only end when they [the Palestinians] understand that we are here to stay,” said caucus co-chair, MK Yoav Kisch (Likud).
“The time has come to say that Ma’aleh Adumim is an Israeli city in every way. In two weeks we will introduce a law [to annex the city],” said Kisch said.
“We can’t wait for the Messiah for this to happen,” Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin [Likud] said to the dozens of politicians who participated in the meeting.
He said that in the aftermath of the terror attacks that had claimed the lives of Rabbi Michael “Miki” Mark and Hallel Yaffa Ariel
, this was precisely the time to push forward both with calls for annexation and with demands for more building.
“If they do not want us to be here, we need to say we are here and we will be here for eternity and that is the significance of saying Ma’aleh Adumim is Israeli and part of sovereign Israel,” Elkin said.
He along with Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel [Bayit Yehudi] and Social Services Minister Haim Katz [Likud] signed a declaration calling for the annexation of Ma’aleh Adumim.
Ariel called on the cabinet, which met while the politicians sat in Ma’aleh Adumim, to annex it and to authorize thousands of new units in that city.
Just last month the caucus published a poll, which showed that 78% of Israelis would want to see Ma’aleh Adumim annexed.
“This is how many people want this to happen,” said Ma’aleh Adumim Mayor Benny Kashriel, who added that it was just a first step to annexing all of Area C of the West Bank.
Katz said, “Ma’aleh Adumim, Ariel and other settlements in Judea and Samaria, must be part of Israel so that you can build there.”
The city, which is home to over 37,000 people, is the third largest Jewish city in the West Bank.
It is located just a short distance outside of Jerusalem and five kilometers over the pre-1967 lines.
Israel believes that it will be part of its final borders in any final status agreement with the Palestinians. But construction there has slowed to a trickle, compared to past years.
In the first quarter of 2016, there were no new housing starts in that city.
The Palestinians believe that Ma’aleh Adumim, must be included in the borders of its future state and that it would not be possible to have a viable state without that city.