Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that he had given orders to “immediately advance building plans” in the E1 sector, “in order to create a territorial connection between Maaleh Adumim and Yerushalayim.” The project will see the construction of some 3,500 homes. “There have been delays in implementing this, but we have made our decision. This decision has major importance.”
Netanyahu said that construction in the region “will have a major impact on settlement in Yehudah, Shomron and the Jordan Valley. Yitzchak Rabin started the process in 1994, and it was halted during the administrations of Ariel Sharon and George W. Bush in 2004.”
The E1 corridor is a parcel of land that lies between Yerushalayim and Maaleh Adumim. Israel has sought for years to build in the area, but has been stymied by American administrations, at the behest of the Palestinian Authority, which claims that mass Israeli construction in the area would essentially make a Palestinian state impossible, as it would irrevocably divide the two major Palestinian population centers – the Ramallah/Shechem area and the Chevron area – from each other.
Netanyahu made the announcement at an event in Yerushalayim Tuesday morning, and took the opportunity to do some electioneering. Speaking of his opponent, the prime minister called Benny Gantz “a poor imitation of Netanyahu. Gantz is like a Netanyahu you buy on a discount Chinese merchant site. All of the sudden they are right-wing, they believe in appealing directly to Congress as I did regarding the Iranian negotiations, they are now suddenly against that plan. These are the people who were opposed to a security fence bordering Sinai. They were also in favor of throwing 80,000 Jews out of their homes, until President Trump said otherwise,” he added.