Police station to be inaugurated in West Bank

Structure, set to be opened next week, located in controversial area between J'lem, Ma'aleh Adumim.

maaleh adumim 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
maaleh adumim 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
A new Israel Police station will be opened next week in E-1, an area that has been the site of a bitter land dispute between Israelis and Palestinians, officials said Wednesday. The new structure, which will serve as the new Israel Police headquarters in the West Bank, is located between Jerusalem and Ma'aleh Adumim, where a long-planned residential construction project was frozen three years ago due to American opposition. The station will open on Monday, Public Security Ministry spokesman Sari Barak said Wednesday. He said that repeated delays in the station's inauguration had been caused by construction problems. The station, the construction of which was approved by the government in 2005, will replace the dilapidated one in east Jerusalem, which has served as the Judea and Samaria Police headquarters for decades. Three years ago, then-prime minister Ariel Sharon's government promised the US it would freeze a residential construction project in the area. The project, comprising 3,500 housing units on the outskirts of Ma'aleh Adumim, was part of a decade-old government plan known as E-1, which was meant to link the suburban Jerusalem settlement to the capital. The proposal was subject to fierce Palestinian opposition because it would complete a circle of Jewish settlements around east Jerusalem, cutting the city off from the West Bank. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who supported the building freeze, has said that building the new station would help police crack down on illegal Palestinian construction in the area. A spokeswoman for the US Consulate in Jerusalem declined comment.