Defense Minister approves ‘sovereignty road’ paving way for construction in sensitive area

Israel maintains that the area of E-1 is critical to its security and essential to defending Jerusalem.

By World Israel News Staff and TPS

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett on Monday approved a “Sovereignty Road” on Monday. The road will enable Israelis and Palestinians to drive on separate highways.

It will also clear the way for Israel to build in area E-1. The development project, which has been on the table for about a decade, will begin with the construction of 3,500 homes.

The construction will create a territorial continuum between Jerusalem and the Ma’ale Adumim, a city with a population of 40,000 located south of the capital.

Bennett said, “The project will improve the quality of life of the residents of the area, prevent unnecessary friction with the Palestinian population, and most importantly – enable the continuation of building in the settlements. Imposing sovereignty in deeds, not in words. We will continue in that way.”

Israel maintains that the area of E-1 is critical to its security and essential to defending Jerusalem.

Critics of Israeli construction in E-1 say that the plan aims to prevent the expansion of Arab construction in eastern Jerusalem by linking the capital with Ma’ale Adumim.

The Palestinian Authority leadership has described the E-1 plan as an effort to “Judaize Jerusalem.”

Israel also announced in February the construction in the Giv’at Hamatos and Har Homa neighborhoods south of Jerusalem.

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