The National Office for Land Defense based in the West Bank city of Nablus, warned that Israel is attempting to isolate Jerusalem from its surrounding Palestinian areas by announcing the EJ 1 settlement project which extends on 21.000 Dunham’s of Palestinian lands between Maale Adumim settlement and Jerusalem.

The office reported that the Benny Kashriel, Maale Adumim mayor, sent a letter to Sharon after signing it along with 100 Likud party leaders demanding him to approve the settlement expansion, in order to link it with Jerusalem.
Kashire said in his letter that Israel should start the expansion immediately in order to benefit from the international support it received after implementing the Disengagement Plan.
Also, Kashire added in his letter that the right wing groups at the Knesset, such as Shas party, Mifdal, and Agudat Yisrael, and senior Likud figures including Benjamin Netanyahu and Gideon Ezra, are strongly demanding the government to implement this plan.
Israel Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, did not object to the plan, and will most likely use it as his winning ticket against the Likud rebels, and the new leader of the Labor Party, Amir Peretz.  
The NCLD called on the Palestinian leadership to demand the Arabic countries to stop the normalization with Israel, and conduct efforts on the international level in order to pressure Israel and force it comply to its international obligations, and the Road Map Plan, and to remove all of the settlement outposts installed in the West Bank since 2001.  
The office also called on the Arab Countries which singed the Fourth Geneva Conventions to convene and discuss the threats of isolating Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank, which will limit the chances of creating of a viable Palestinian State with a geographical contiguity.
Maale Adumim is the most populous Jewish settlement in the West Bank. Gush Etzion lies south of Jerusalem and the town of Ariel in the northern West Bank.
‘These areas will never be transferred to the Palestinian Authority,’ the official from the office of the Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, said.
‘We’re not talking about rogue outposts, but perfectly legal settlements where we will continue to build homes, administrative offices and industrial areas in keeping with our needs,’ added the official.
Israeli Defense Minister, Shaul Mofaz, has approved the construction of more than 3,500 new units in Maale Adumim, currently home to more than 28,000 settlers.