Monday, March 31, 2008

Rice Visit Heralds Last-Minute Balk on Opening of E-1 Station

Ezra HaLevi

In what may be yet another concession due to the visit of United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the opening of the E-1 region Jewish police station in the area between Jerusalem and Maaleh Adumim was delayed at the last minute.

Public Security Minister Avi Dichter announced the government’s decision to postpone the police station's opening on Sunday. The opening was scheduled for the next day.

Dichter downplayed the decision, claiming it did not stem from Rice’s presence in the region. The US is known to oppose Jewish building that would complete the contiguous Jewish presence around Jerusalem.

E-1, also known as Mevasseret Adumim, is a 4.6 square mile section of state-owned land, east of Jerusalem, connecting the large town of Maaleh Adumim with the capital. It is bordered by the French Hill neighborhood of Jerusalem to the west, Abu Dis to the southwest, Kedar to the south, Ma'ale Adumim to the east, and Almon to the north.

Police will begin using the police station nonetheless, Arutz-7 has learned. “The Judea and Samaria police will for sure operate from the building,” Dichter said. “[The delay] has nothing to do with any diplomatic issues.”

What has been cancelled is a festive celebration of the station’s opening. And although the station will begin to be used, plans to build 3,500 housing units in the E-1 area remain frozen by the Olmert government.

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