Maale Adumim

Maale Adumim is the biggest Israeli population settlement in the Palestinian Territories, 7 Km east of Jerusalem.

The construction of Maale Adumim, situated on the hilltops dominating the road of Jerusalem leading to Jericho and the Jordan valley, started in 1975. The population of Maale Adumim doubled since the Oslo agreements, reaching 28,700 inhabitants in 2004. The Israeli government awarded the population settlement the status of « Israeli city », just as « Ariel » (Maale Adumim was the first one to obtain this status, in October 1992).

The majority of the inhabitants of the Maale Adumim suburb work in Jerusalem.

The Maale Adumim expansion plan, ratified by former Prime Minister Ehoud Barak in 1999, aims to complete the Jerusalem-east surrounding (which is by a majority Arab) and will prevent from any connection between the north and the south of the West Bank. The Taba Summit negotiated between the PLO and Barak government planned the annexation of Maale Adumim to Israel, without breaking the territorial continuity between the north and the south of the West Bank.

On 14 September 1999, in the aftermath of the start of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiation on the final status of the Palestinian territories, Ehoud Barak visited Maale Adumim and declared: « You are part of Jerusalem. (…) Each house you have built forms part of the Israeli State. Forever. The new government will continue to reinforce the Israeli State, its takeover on the Israeli ground and we shall continue to develop and reinforce Maale Adumim »…