Israeli vice Premier Ehud Olmert, reiterated statements that the West Bank settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim is part of Israel, saying that U.S. political officials known that, Israeli sources reported on Thursday.
‘I can tell you that the American administration knows without a doubt that Ma’aleh Adumim is an inseparable part of the State of Israel,’ Olmert said in an Israel Radio interview. ‘There is no chance that we’ll be able to give this up.’
Olmert, who is a strong supporter of the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, slammed the former Minister of Finance, Benjamin Netanyahu for accusing Sharon of failing to build a settlement on the so called by Israel E-1 area, calling that a ‘provocation,’ adding that it is a matter of time only for this area to be taken.
‘It’s a question of circumstances and a question of timing,’ he said. ‘I have no doubt that it will be built.’
Touring the so called E-1 area, which is the only area between Jerusalem and the settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim that is not inhabited by settlers; Netanyahu said Sharon’s policy will lead to dividing Jerusalem.
‘Sharon has created a precedent that could lead to dividing Jerusalem,’ he said. ‘He set a principle of uprooting Jews to the 1967 lines from Gush Katif. The second threat he has created is by delaying the construction between Ma’aleh Adumim and Jerusalem.’
The plan on this area is to connect Ma’aleh Adumim settlement with the East of Jerusalem by building some 3500 housing units.
Constructing a settlement on this land, contradicts the U.S.-backed Road Map, which is the main reason behind American opposition to build a settlement there.
‘The Palestinians want to create settlement contiguity from north to south and we want contiguity from east to west. To stop them, we must overcome them,’ said Netanyahu.
Sharon refrained from promoting the construction in that region to avoid confrontation with the American Administration.Ã‚Â Yet, he announced Israel’s intention to build a police station on that area, which was approved by the cabinet on Wednesday.
Peace Now Secretary General Yariv Oppenheimer commented: ‘Netanyahu wants to sabotage the most sensitive spot in Israeli-American relations. Building in E-1 means a fatal blow to the idea of two states for two nations and would break the contiguity between the north and south West Bank.’