Abbas spokesman blasts new Israeli construction near Maaleh Adumim

PA chairman's spokesman says Netanyahu's announcement of new construction in E1 area crosses "red lines".

Elad Benari ,

E1 land, between Jerusalem and Maale Adumim
E1 land, between Jerusalem and Maale Adumim
Flash 90

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas, on Tuesday condemned Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s announcement that Israel would build 3,500 housing units in the E1 area, near Maaleh Adumim.

In a statement quoted by the PA’s official Wafa news agency, Abu Rudeineh said this decision is the result of “the biased and dangerous American policy in favor of the Israeli occupation, which led to a situation that violates international law, transgresses the red lines, and contradicts with United Nations resolutions on settlements, specifically Security Council resolution 2334 of 2016, which confirmed the illegality of the Israeli settlements.”

He added that Netanyahu’s decision challenges the statement that was passed unanimously on Monday by the UN Security Council to refrain from undermining the viability of two-state solution.

“We warn the Israeli government against continuing with this escalated policy that will not bring security and stability to anyone, but rather increase tension and violence in the region,” said Abu Rudeineh.

Building in E1 has been a point of contention between Israel and the PA, and also between Israel and the West which objects to Israeli construction in the area, which the West calls “occupied territory”.

Israel approved construction in the E1 area in 2013, soon after the PA was recognized by the United Nations as a non-member observer state, in a unilateral move by PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas in violation of the Oslo Accords.

Netanyahu faced international criticism after the government approved new construction in the area, and later directed the city of Jerusalem to postpone a meeting on the construction.