<a href=”After completing the evacuation of settlers from the Gaza Strip and the northern West Bank, the government rushed to implement the second half of Ariel Sharon’s disengagement plan: strengthening Israel’s hold on the West Bank settlement blocs. Almost simultaneously with the evacuation of Gush Katif, the army began issuing expropriation orders for Palestinian lands around Ma’aleh Adumim on which the separation fence is slated to be built. At the same time, the government decided to build a police station in the area known as E-1, between Ma’aleh Adumim and Jerusalem.

Both decisions have major diplomatic significance, and they will influence the nature of any future agreement with the Palestinians. Sharon promised that Ma’aleh Adumim would in the future be part of Israel "and be territorially contiguous with Jerusalem." But the route of the fence, which the cabinet approved in February, at about the same time as it decided toevacuate the Gaza settlements, encompasses a much larger area than the built-up area of the largest settlement in the West Bank. The fence is also slated to surround the Mishor Adumim industrial zone and a few small satellite settlements, as well as a large amount of open space between these settlements. Its eastern extremity will bite off a sizable portion of the area between Jerusalem and Jericho.”>title: “After completing the evacuation of settlers from the Gaza Strip and the northern West Bank, the government rushed to implement the second half of Ariel Sharon’s disengagement plan: strengthening Israel’s hold on the West Bank settlement blocs. Almost simultaneously with the evacuation of Gush Katif, the army began issuing expropriation orders for Palestinian lands around Ma’aleh Adumim on which the separation fence is slated to be built. At the same time, the government decided to build a police station in the area known as E-1, between Ma’aleh Adumim and Jerusalem.

Both decisions have major diplomatic significance, and they will influence the nature of any future agreement with the Palestinians. Sharon promised that Ma’aleh Adumim would in the future be part of Israel ‘and be territorially contiguous with Jerusalem.’ But the route of the fence, which the cabinet approved in February, at about the same time as it decided toevacuate the Gaza settlements, encompasses a much larger area than the built-up area of the largest settlement in the West Bank. The fence is also slated to surround the Mishor Adumim industrial zone and a few small satellite settlements, as well as a large amount of open space between these settlements. Its eastern extremity will bite off a sizable portion of the area between Jerusalem and Jericho.”

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