Activists dedicate controversial area


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Hundreds of activists attended a symbolic groundbreaking ceremony for a new neighborhood connecting the West Bank city of Maaleh Adumim with Jerusalem.

A government minister from each of the Likud, Yisrael Beiteinu and Habayit Hayehudi parties attended Monday’s ceremony in the controversial E-1 area, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The plan would build 3,000 homes in the area. Maaleh Adumim is a settlement bloc of 37,000 residents that Israel says it intends to keep under any peace agreement. The Palestinians argue that settling the E-1 area would make it difficult to draw a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

Peace Now activists demonstrated against the ceremony. 

An actual cornerstone was not laid per an agreement made Sunday with the police, which banned the event fearing violence.

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