US State Department criticizes Israel on E-1 area planning

After White House spokesman called for Israeli to reconsider housing expansion plans for the West Bank in response to the Palestinian upgrade to UN nonmember state as “counterproductive” to peace efforts, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Monday night that its planning of the E-1 area near Jerusalem was “especially damaging to peace efforts.”
DEBKAfile: The Palestinians say E-1’s location would make it impossible for them to form a state with viable borders and would block Arab access to East Jerusalem which they want as their capital.
Israel says Jewish construction in E-1 would not obstruct an independent Palestinian’s access to Jerusalem through Arab Abu Dis. A corridor at least 15 kilometers wide would connect the northern and southern parts of the West Bank. This is the width of central Israel between its Mediterranean coast and the West Bank border.


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