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Will Israel expand settlement to Jerusalem border?

Israeli plans to expand the Ma’ale Adumim settlement and achieve territorial continuity all the way to Jerusalem might spark international uproar.
A picture taken on October 21, 2014 in the West Bank village of Zayem near Jerusalem, shows the Israel's controversial separation barrier with the Jewish settlement of Maale Adumim in the background.  AFP PHOTO/AHMAD GHARABLI        (Photo credit should read AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images)
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The court-ordered evacuation of the illegal Amona outpost in the West Bank (scheduled for Dec. 25 at the latest), and the proposed outpost Regularization law, are wars of yesteryear — limited skirmishes that divert attention from a far greater and more important war. The new battleground was inaugurated at the height of the battle for Amona and the imbroglio over the controversial bill granting legal status to wildcat West Bank outposts.

Giant billboards displaying the portraits of late President Shimon Peres, late Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin, Ariel Sharon and Menachem Begin, and former Prime Minister Ehud Barak have in recent weeks augured the impending clash. The clever campaign slogan says “following in their footsteps.” Next to the portrait of each leader is a citation advocating the annexation of the settlement town of Ma’ale Adumim to Israel. For example, Sharon pledged that “Ma’ale Adumim will be built as part of the State of Israel for ever more.” A petition, website, Facebook page, rally and especially pressure running across party lines have all been mobilized to promote a diplomatic measure the likes of which Israel has not undertaken since annexing the Golan Heights in 1981. The Knesset’s Land of Israel lobby, the settlement umbrella organization Yesha Council and the pro-settlement Regavim Movement have all joined forces with Benny Kashriel, the three-term mayor of Ma’ale Adumim and a veteran Likud Party politico, in a bid to push through legislation at the Knesset’s winter session imposing Israeli sovereignty over the town.

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