Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Tuesday his intent to push ahead with a plan to build 3,500 homes in the E-1 area of Judea and Samaria that would effectively connect Ma’ale Adumim to Jerusalem.
“I have given instructions to immediately publish for deposit the plan to build 3,500 housing units in E-1,” said Netanyahu, using an administrative term for the first phase of the planning process, according to Reuters. The move comes less than a week before Israel’s March 2 election.
“This had been delayed for six and a half years,” said Netanyahu, referring to the freezing of the project following US and international criticism claiming that the housing project would cut off the Palestinian Authority from Jerusalem and harm a prospective Palestinian state.
Netanyahu seeks to gain support from right-wing supporters and settlers for the upcoming election.