Construction in Maaleh Adumim (Archives)
Photo: AP
Corner-stone laying ceremony for E1 neighborhood downgraded
Maaleh Adumim Municipality, police agree ceremony intended as 'act of protest against US' opposition to construction plan' to include only burial of vase, scroll

The Municipality of Maaleh Adumim and Israel Police reached an agreement Sunday regarding a ceremony inaugurating a new residential neighborhood in E1, an area referring to a sprawl of land connecting Jerusalem to Maaleh Adumim.


According to the agreement, which was submitted to the Supreme Court, the ceremony will not include the laying of the cornerstone. Instead, a vase and a scroll will be put in the ground.


The international community and the Palestinian Authority are closely monitoring developments in E1, as the PA claims Israel's "real intention behind the plan" is to expropriate Palestinian land, annex Jerusalem and divide the West Bank into Samaria and Judea.


The agreement was reached after the Maaleh Adumim Municipality filed a petition with the High Court demanding an explanation as to why police decided to ban the cornerstone-laying ceremony.


The ceremony, according to the appeal, is meant as "an act of protest rather than the beginning of actual construction," and therefore should be permitted.


The petitioners said it was decided to hold the ceremony to protest against the US' opposition to Israeli construction in E1.


"From Maaleh Adumim's standpoint, the implementation of the construction plan is vital to the city's development," the petition read.


Work on a new settlement in the northern Jordan Valley began earlier Sunday, in the midst of a public debate over the freezing of construction in the West Bank and Jerusalem.


The first stage of construction includes the completion of 20 housing units, intended for evacuees of the Shirat Hayam settlement. 


פרסום ראשון: 09.06.09, 20:41
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