DE RUEHJM #0705 1171406
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 271406Z APR 09
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4724
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC PRIORITY C O N F I D E N T I A L JERUSALEM 000705
NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE AND IPA. NSC FOR SHAPIRO/KUMAR. JOINT
STAFF FOR LTGEN SELVA
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/27/2019
SUBJECT: GOI COMMITTEE PROPOSES UNIFICATION OF MAALE ADUMIM
AND QEDAR SETTLEMENTS, ALLOWING EXPANSION
Classified By: Consul General Jake Walles, per reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)
1. (C) Summary. NGO Peace Now confirmed press reports
that the Israeli Ministry of Interior (MOI) internal panel
recommended unification of West Bank settlements Maale Adumim
and Qedar (southeast of Maale Adumim). This step could
potentially annex 3,000 acres of land to Maale Adumim and
pave the way for the building of 6,000 new housing units.
The lawyer representing the two Palestinian municipalities
who claim the 3,000 acres said he will file a petition in the
Israeli High Court of Justice to prevent the move. A visit
by Poloffs on April 27 revealed no new changes on the ground
at Maale Adumim, Qedar, or E-1. The PA strongly condemned
the move. End summary.
Israeli MOI Panel Recommends
Combining Maale Adumim and Qedar
2. (C) Head of NGO Peace Now's Settlement Watch team Hagit
Ofran briefed Poloff on April 27 on an Israeli Ministry of
Interior (MOI) internal recommendation to combine West Bank
settlements Maale Adumim and Qedar (southeast of Maale
Adumim). This step could potentially result in the
annexation of 3,000 acres (11,500 dunams) of land to Maale
Adumim that is claimed by the Palestinian municipalities of
Abu Dis and Suwaha. Ofran said that Minister of Interior Eli
Yishai is likely to accept the recommendation, and called on
the USG to pressure the GOI to reject the plan. According to
Ofran, the unification of Maale Adumim and Qedar is part of a
new master plan for Maale Adumim to build 6,000 housing units
on the 3,000 acres. If the MOI accepts the internal panel's
recommendation, Ofran said, Qedar will begin receiving its
services from Maale Adumim instead of the Gush Etzion
regional council. Ofran claimed that the recommendation was
calculated to convince the Israeli High Court of Justice
(HCJ) to accept a routing of the security barrier around both
Maale Adumim and Qedar.
Appeal Against Security Barrier Route Rejected
3. (C) Shlomo Lekker, the Israeli lawyer for Abu Dis and
Sawaha, told Poloff on April 27 that his appeal against this
proposed route of the security barrier was rejected by the
Israeli Ministry of Defense (MOD) on April 23. Lekker said
he will now file a new petition in the HCJ, which he hopes
will lead to an injuction order prohibiting new construction
in the area.
No Change On The Ground - Yet
4. (C) Poloffs visited Maale Adumim, Qedar, and E-1 on
April 27 and observed no changes. The eastern branch of
Qedar settlement is located approximately one kilometer from
Maale Adumim. A significant number of Bedouin residential
structures lie between Maale Adumim and Qedar.
5. (U) PA Spokesman Nabil Abu Rudaynah publicly condemned
the step, accusing the GOI of "intentionally destroying
international and American efforts" to move the peace process
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