Photo Credit: Courtesy Aaron Klein
Aaron Klein

The European envoy confirmed a story in Israel’s Ynetnews website reporting that last week’s European protest against the construction of new Jerusalem homes was coordinated with the Obama administration, according to an Israeli official.

Israel’s Higher Planning Council of the Israel Defense Forces’ Civil Administration vowed to go forward with plans to construct the new homes in what is known as the E-1 corridor between Ma’ale Adumim, an eastern Jerusalem suburb and a neighborhood closer to western Jerusalem called Pisgat Zeev.

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Last month, this column reported that Obama administration diplomats were monitoring Jewish housing construction projects in two Jerusalem neighborhoods, according to informed Israeli officials. The U.S. consular staff had visited Gilo and Pisgat Zeev, two entirely Jewish neighborhoods in the eastern sections of Jerusalem, the officials said.

This column first reported in 2009 that the Obama administration had set up an apparatus to closely monitor Jewish construction in Jerusalem and the strategic West Bank to the point of watching Israeli moves house-to-house in certain key neighborhoods, according to Israeli officials.

In March 2009, Obama’s then-Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, oversaw the establishment of an enhanced apparatus based in the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem that closely monitors the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods, incorporating regular tours of the areas, at times on a daily basis, the officials said.

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