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Report: US delegation visits E1

June 22, 2013 9:49 A.M. (Updated: June 24, 2013 9:06 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – A high-profile US delegation headed by Vice Adm. Harry B Harris secretly visited the disputed E1 area between Jerusalem and the West Bank this week, according to Israeli media.

Israel’s Channel 2 TV reported Saturday that the delegation, under supervision of US Secretary of State John Kerry, went to see if construction in the E1 area threatened the territorial contiguity of a future Palestinian state.

Israel’s coordinator of government activities in the West Bank Eita Dangot escorted the delegation and tried to explain that E1 construction would not affect the contiguity, according to the report.

The mayor of Maale Adumim, an Israeli settlement near E1, was angered because he was not invited to welcome the delegation.

“It is unacceptable that a mayor of a city in Israel is not invited to a top-level visit to his own city,” the mayor said in a letter to Netanyahu’s office. The response was that the purpose of the visit was security, and there was no need to publicize it.

The US consulate in Jerusalem did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
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