Plans by the Israeli government to build in E1 have been decried by Palestinian officials who claim that building a new settlement between Jerusalem and Maale Adumim would, "effectively cut the West Bank in two." Israeli officials have accused the Palestinians of exaggerating E1's importance, and pro-Israel groups have argued that alternative roads will still run through the area, connecting the northern and southern halves of the West Bank. A trip between Bethlehem and Ramallah that 10 years ago would take 15-20 minutes, will take upwards of 2.5 hours on the new roads.
Copyright NPR. View this article on npr.org.