Israeli authorities have published a tender for the construction of the first ever hotel in Ma’ale Adumim, a major settlement in the central occupied West Bank.
According to the Jerusalem Post, citing reports by the settlement’s spokesperson, Mayor Benny Kashriel sees the development as of “revolutionary” significance.
Ma’ale Adumim is located east of occupied East Jerusalem, and has played a key part in Israeli efforts to split the southern and northern West Bank through land colonisation and settlement.
According to the report, the settlement’s mayor now hopes that Ma’ale Adumim can be a tourist hub, boasting of its “amazing views and its close proximity to important tourist sites in Israel”.
The Jerusalem Post stated that the hotel will be built “on property now under the auspices of the IDF’s Custodian of Abandoned Properties”, a legal mechanism used over the decades by Israeli authorities to confiscate and colonise Palestinian land.
Israeli politicians across the spectrum see Ma’ale Adumim as a “consensus” settlement, and one which will remain under Israeli control under any future deal with the Palestinians.
In more recent times, right-wing leaders have urged – and drafted legislation for – the formal annexation of Ma’ale Adumim.
For Palestinians, the location of Ma’ale Adumim – as well as its satellite outposts and associated infrastructure – serves as a critical obstacle for the formation of a sovereign, territorially contiguous and viable state, especially if combined with Israel’s annexation of the Jordan Valley.
Last night, the US announced that it had abandoning its four-decade position that settlements were “inconsistent with international law”, giving a boost to Israeli calls to annex them.