US warns Israel on E-1?
Haaretz reports that the Obama administration has warned Israel not to build in E-1
, the corridor between Jerusalem and Maaleh Adumim. No source
is given for the report.
The U.S. administration has issued a stiff warning to Israel not to build in the area known as E-1, which lies between Jerusalem and the West Bank settlement of Ma'aleh Adumim. Any change in the status quo in E-1 would be "extremely damaging," even "corrosive," the message said.
The plans for E-1 call for building 3,500 housing units, along with commercial areas and tourism sites, to create a single urban expanse stretching from Jerusalem to Ma'aleh Adumim and strengthen Israel's hold on East Jerusalem, which would then be completely surrounded by Jewish neighborhoods.
The United States has always vehemently opposed this plan, fearing it would deprive a future Palestinian state of territorial contiguity, cut the West Bank in two and sever East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank - all of which would thwart any hope of signing a final-status agreement and establishing a Palestinian state.
Whether or not any such warning was delivered, Israel is unlikely to build in E-1 during the course of a 'settlement freeze.' But once that 3-6 month period is up, I'd say it's pretty likely that the government will try to build in E-1.