Progressive Democrats urge Biden to press Israel against construction in contentious E1 area

The lawmakers claimed building homes in the contentious E1 corridor constitutes a “red line” for the U.S.

By World Israel News Staff

Twenty-nine far-left Democrats on Friday called on the Biden administration to pressure Israel to cancel plans to build homes for Jewish residents in what is known as the E1 corridor connecting Jerusalem and Ma’ale Adumim in Judea and Samaria.

The letter comes ahead of a planned visit to the region by President Joe Biden.

“We urge you to continue emphasizing in the lead-up to [US President Joe Biden’s July 13-14] visit [to Israel and the West Bank] that settlement construction in E-1 remains a red line for the United States and to use every diplomatic tool at your disposal to ensure that Israel does not further advance these devastating plans,” said the letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The letter was spearheaded by led by Reps. Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.).

A Civil Administration subcommittee is slated to hold its final hearing in July on Palestinian objections to the construction, which include the claim that building Jewish homes in the area would crush the hopes of a contiguous Palestinian state with eastern Jerusalem as its capital.

Building plans have been delayed for almost two years amid international pressure.

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U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides has also urged the Israeli government to back down from the plan.

The area, about 12 square kilometers (4.5 square miles), would see about 3,500 additional housing units if the plan goes ahead, and is meant to ameliorate a housing crisis in Ma’ale Adumim, a town of about 40,000 people.

Both E1 and Ma’ale Adumim are in Area C, which is under Israeli security and administrative control.

However, it is expected to take several years to complete the necessary bureaucratic measures before construction can begin.