Israeli Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein urged US Vice President Mike Pence to back the construction of a new settlement industrial zone in a key area of the occupied West Bank known as ‘E1’, reported The Jerusalem Post.
According to the paper, “Edelstein pressed Pence on the importance of building an industrial zone at the site”, claiming it would offer work to both “Israelis and Palestinians from the West Bank”.
Israel often defends its settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), all of which are considered a grave violation of international law, on the basis that some employ Palestinians.
Edelstein also presented the US vice president with a “gift basket” of settlement-made goods.
The so-called E1 area is located to the east of Jerusalem, close to the illegal Israeli settlement of Ma’ale Adumim. Israeli leaders have long sought to expand into the E1 area, but have held back due to international opposition to such a move.
During his remarks to Pence in the Knesset, Edelstein said: “When we meet again in my office I’ll give you a basket full of products manufactured in one of the industrial zones in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] where Jews and Arabs work together”.
“This basket represents an island of peace, which thrives despite all the lies, despite all the incitement. What we need most of all is more such products and other industrial zones to prove that war is not a fateful decree and that living together is a real possibility”.