Olmert said, according to Maariv, quoting the Jerusalem Post:
“It is clear that at some point in the future there will be a contiguity between Maaleh Adumin and Jerusalem and the area will be built up.”
Olmert Outlines Plans for Israel’s Borders By GREG MYREPublished: March 10, 2006
JERUSALEM, March 9 — In the most detailed description yet of his plans if elected prime minister this month, Ehud Olmert, Israel’s acting prime minister and the front-runner, said that he intended to set the country’s permanent borders by 2010 and that they were likely to run near the West Bank separation barrier.
Mr. Olmert also said he planned further development in Israel’s largest settlement, Maale Adumim, which would eventually link up with nearby East Jerusalem. Palestinians vehemently oppose such a move, because it would further isolate the Arab parts of East Jerusalem. The United States has also objected.
…But Mr. Olmert seems to believe that Israeli voters see the Hamas victory as an opportunity to set their own future borders without needing to negotiate with a Palestinian government, since Hamas refuses to recognize Israel.
…Mr. Olmert said he would wait a “reasonable time” to see if Hamas was willing to recognize Israel, disavow violence and accept previous agreements. But if Hamas “is not willing to accept these principles, we will need to begin to act,” he told The Jerusalem Post. He has also said he does not plan to meet with Mr. Abbas, regarding the Palestinian Authority as one entity that is now effectively controlled by Hamas.
Mr. Olmert said recently that Israel would not undertake any major infrastructure projects in West Bank settlements, though he appeared to be referring only to those that are beyond the separation barrier.
In his latest comments, he said he planned to go ahead with the so-called E-1 development plan, which calls for building some 3,500 homes in the land between East Jerusalem and the large Maale Adumim settlement. Maale Adumim, which has more than 30,000 residents, is a couple of miles from East Jerusalem.
“It’s entirely clear that the continuity between Jerusalem and Maale Adumim will be a built-up continuity,” Mr. Olmert was quoted by Haaretz as saying. “In my view there is an absolute consensus in Israel on this issue.”
In early 2005, the Ma’ale Adumim city council announced plans for the residential neighborhood and the police station, and in August of that year, there were submitted for public review, a bureaucratic formality preceding final authorization. The same months, Netanyahu kicked off his campaign to regain leadership of the Likud in E1 and a day later, vice premier Ehud Olmert declared that Israel would build homes to connect Ma’ale Adumim to Jerusalem “at the appropriate time.”
In October 1994, while in the midst of hammering out the Oslo Accords, then-prime minister Yitzhak Rabin declared that a “united Jerusalem” would include Ma’aleh Adumim as the capital of Israel under Israel sovereignty. As part of the effort to make sure Ma’aleh Adumim remained an integral part of a “united Jerusalem,” Rabin provided then-mayor Benny Kashriel with annexation documents for the E1 area –a strip of land that connects the capital with Ma’aleh Adumim. As prime minister in 1996, Shimon Peres reaffirmed the government’s position that Israel will demand applying Israeli sovereignty over Ma’aleh Adumim in the framework of a permanent peace agreement. Dovish politician and co-author of the Geneva Initiative, Yossi Beilin, supported annexing Ma’aleh Adumim. And the 2000 Clinton Parameters called for Israel to be compensated for the partitioning of Jerusalem by annexing Ma’aleh Adumim. During the 2008 Annapolis negotiations, then-prime minister Ehud Olmert and then-foreign minister Tzipi Livni demanded that Ma’aleh Adumim remain a part of Israel.
“there was one request by the American government — and there was no question president [George] Bush and [secretary of state] Condoleezza Rice were friends of Israel — they asked me, ‘Please don’t build in E1, because if you do, it will be beyond the capacity of the Palestinian leadership to sit with you.’”
Olmert said he told the American administration that “one day Maaleh Adumim will be part of Israel because we will not leave them as an enclave.” But, he added, his government agreed not to build in the area in order to enable negotiations with the Palestinian Authority to take place.
E1, Olmert suggested, was a point of particular concern for the American administration.
“So [for the Netanyahu government] to build in this one piece of land,” he said, “requires creativity which is beyond my comprehension.”
About the Author: Yisrael Medad resides in Shiloh and is a foreign media spokesperson for the Yesha Council of Jewish Communities.The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.
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