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Jerusalem - US Urges Israel Not to Build in E-1 Areas

Published on: November 22, 2012 11:16 PM
By: Exclusive Jerusalem Post
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File photo of the E-1 (background) site of a new housing planning in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Maaleh Adumim, on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Photo by Kobi Gideon / flash90.File photo of the E-1 (background) site of a new housing planning in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Maaleh Adumim, on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Photo by Kobi Gideon / flash90.

Jerusalem - Washington is urging Israel not to allow construction in the area known as E-1 between Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim as a possible response to the Palestinian bid for statehood recognition next week at the UN, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

Building in E-1, which would create contiguity between Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim to the northeast beyond the Green Line, is something various Israeli governments have long wanted to do, but which US opposition has prevented.

Building there is one of a number of measures Jerusalem has discussed as a possible retaliation for a Palestinian statehood bid.

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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and other PA spokespeople have made clear in recent days that they intend to bring a resolution to the UN General Assembly, possibly as early as Thursday, November 29, which is the anniversary of the 1947 UN partition vote.

Diplomatic officials said the recent fighting in the Gaza Strip would likely serve as an even greater impetus for Abbas to bring the measure to the UN, in an attempt to make himself – and the PA – relevant after being sidelined throughout the eight-day crisis.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has come out publicly against the move, as have a number of key EU countries, such as Britain, Germany and France.

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague told Parliament on Thursday: “While there is any chance of achieving a return to talks in the coming months, we continue to advise President Abbas against attempts to win Palestinian observer state status. We judge that this would make it harder to secure a return to negotiations, and could have very serious consequences for the Palestinian Authority.”

The Post has also learned that European diplomats are holding separate discussions with Israel and the PA about the wording of the resolution that will be brought to the UN, and the possibility that it will be modified a bit to mollify Israel and temper Jerusalem’s response.

One of Israel’s chief concerns regarding the step is that as a result of being given statehood status by the UN General Assembly, the Palestinians will be able to take Israel to the International Criminal Court, something only states can do. One suggestion under review is the possibility of a side letter whereby the PA would commit not to take Israel to the ICC as long as diplomatic negotiations begin within a certain period of time.

It is not yet clear how the EU will vote on the UN measure, and whether it would reach a consensus and abstain or – as was the case when the Palestinians sought entrance into UNESCO as a state last year – some EU countries will support the measure, others will oppose it, and still others will abstain.

On Thursday, France indicated it is likely to support the PA’s statehood bid. Without specifically saying which way France would vote, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius hinted at support.

“I would like to remind you of campaign pledge number 59 of…President François Hollande, which said that there would be an international recognition of a Palestinian state,” Fabius told members of the French Senate.

A French government source said the comment was intended to indicate that Paris was leaning towards voting for the Palestinian request.

During a visit by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to Paris late last month, Hollande said he regretted “the temptation of the Palestinian Authority to go to the General Assembly to get what it couldn’t through negotiations.”

But Fabius, who met Abbas last weekend amid attempts to secure a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, appeared to be signaling a change of tack.

The government of then-president Nicolas Sarkozy voted in favor of granting the Palestinians full membership of UNESCO last year.

One European official said that while it was clear Abbas had a built-in majority at the UN to get the measure passed, he wanted European support to ensure it had the legitimacy of the world’s established democracies. He said it was not clear whether the lack of EU support would prevent Abbas from moving forward with the bid.

Even during the height of the Gaza crisis, Netanyahu, during numerous talks he held with various world leaders, raised this issue. According to government sources, Netanyahu asked his interlocutors why they were not calling on Abbas to stop the rockets from Gaza.

“They would tell him to ‘get serious,’ and that Abbas has no control, to which Netanyahu would reply, ‘So what is all the talk about statehood recognition at the UN,’” one source said. The idea, he added, was to demonstrate how divorced from reality the whole UN proposal was, and how Abbas needed to be convinced not to go through with the plan.

Further, the source asked, “If the Palestinians go to the UN and get recognition, next time there is a rocket attack from Gaza, why can’t we attack Ramallah, and why can’t we take them to the ICC and accuse them of war crimes?” Reuters contributed to this report.


Content is provided courtesy of the Jerusalem Post


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Read Comments (17)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Nov 22, 2012 at 11:43 PM FrumJew Says:

I'm just glad we have Netanyahu in office. Imagine what Rabin would do now?

2

 Nov 23, 2012 at 12:13 AM pbalaw Says:

Israel urges US not to build in Texas

3

 Nov 23, 2012 at 12:50 AM TexasJew Says:

Start building as soon as possible. The hell with what others want. Do what you have to do.

4

 Nov 23, 2012 at 08:04 AM sighber Says:

Ufaratzta yama v'kadma,tzafona v'negba.

5

 Nov 23, 2012 at 08:23 AM Anonymous Says:

Obama needs to give back the Washington DC area to the Piscataway tribes,. which were forced out by Lord Calvert. When can we expect that?

6

 Nov 23, 2012 at 11:28 AM PaulinSaudi Says:

So what areas could we all agree on as being off-limits to new settlements?

7

 Nov 23, 2012 at 12:12 PM Anonymous Says:

Mr. president .
the JEWS suffered to much, that you worry about a number of houses that ISRAEL is building.

8

 Nov 23, 2012 at 01:28 PM CommonSense Says:

We should be trying to build up support for moderate faction among the Palestinians.
The bottom line is. There IS another side to this conflict. The more we avoid that and delegitimize them, the more frustrated they get.

9

 Nov 23, 2012 at 01:30 PM CommonSense Says:

Reply to #2  
pbalaw Says:

Israel urges US not to build in Texas

This is so nonsensical.

Is Texas full of people demanding independence?
Are the people of Texas deprived of their rights as full citizens?

10

 Nov 23, 2012 at 02:09 PM shalomke Says:

But I thought Obama was the most pro Israel president ever? hey libs, what do you say now?

11

 Nov 23, 2012 at 02:27 PM Butterfly Says:

Mr. President, part of Alabama belongs to the Creeks, part of Texas belongs to the Comanches, then they wandered to Mexico, before that the Creeks were also in Kansas. Are we going to start giving land back. Sell La back to France?? Calif. back to Spain? There were a lot of Spanish land grants way back. I wonder how many are still around?????

12

 Nov 24, 2012 at 06:47 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #9  
CommonSense Says:

This is so nonsensical.

Is Texas full of people demanding independence?
Are the people of Texas deprived of their rights as full citizens?

Listen, and you shall hear and learn.

There never was a "Palestinian" country. There never were "Palestinians." There were, and are, Arabs from the surrounding countries, along with Jews, who moved to Israel when the Jews started developing the land.

13

 Nov 24, 2012 at 07:14 PM Anonymous Says:

For those who are not aware of it, California is already largely part of Mexico. Texas is next.

14

 Nov 24, 2012 at 08:19 PM CommonSense Says:

Reply to #12  
Anonymous Says:

Listen, and you shall hear and learn.

There never was a "Palestinian" country. There never were "Palestinians." There were, and are, Arabs from the surrounding countries, along with Jews, who moved to Israel when the Jews started developing the land.

That's right. Before the current century there were hardly any countries there were a a handful of empires that controlled the world. If that's your criteria for statehood then there shouldn't be most of the countries in your Europe.
The question you must ask yourself is, are you willing to open your mind to the fact that there is another side and another narrative.
Until both sides do that, then we'll have endless violence.

15

 Nov 25, 2012 at 12:32 AM esther Says:

Reply to #14  
CommonSense Says:

That's right. Before the current century there were hardly any countries there were a a handful of empires that controlled the world. If that's your criteria for statehood then there shouldn't be most of the countries in your Europe.
The question you must ask yourself is, are you willing to open your mind to the fact that there is another side and another narrative.
Until both sides do that, then we'll have endless violence.

it doesn't matter what any side thinks or says in this case.it was divinely ordained that ey belongs to the jewish people.

16

 Nov 25, 2012 at 03:07 AM Yawvous Says:

For all countries who think they can tell Israel their opinions- how do you dare expect to handcuff a population? Life is continuing and the growing Israel generation needs new areas to live in and accomodate themselves in regard to housing. Development is a MUST !

17

 Nov 25, 2012 at 08:00 AM CommonSense Says:

Reply to #15  
esther Says:

it doesn't matter what any side thinks or says in this case.it was divinely ordained that ey belongs to the jewish people.

Fine. You have the right to believe that. But other people have the right to disagree and the Palestinians certainly aren't beholden to what you believe.
So don't complain when they resist and don't complain when people are biased against your belief.

18

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