MA'ALE ADUMIN - One of the strategic areas in question regarding the so-called annexation that’s part of President Trump’s Deal of the Century Peace Plan is called E-1. For Palestinians, it’s the bridge linking Bethlehem in the south and Ramallah in the north. For Israel, it connects Jerusalem to the Dead Sea and Jordan Valley.
“Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority see it as a strategic area and are both fighting over who’s going to be able to take control over this area,” said Meir Deutsch, Director-General of Regavim, an organization that stays it is dedicated to protecting Israel’s national lands.
On the other side of E-1, less than five miles from Jerusalem, is Ma’ale Adumim, an Israeli city of nearly 40,000 residents.
“In the city our people are very interested. They want the annexation,” said Brenda Horowitz, long-time resident and City Council member of Ma’ale Adumim.
But just what that annexation will mean is still in question. After days of high level meetings, the White House is still undecided over whether or not to back Israel’s annexation of parts of biblical Judea and Samaria, known as the West Bank.
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, who was involved in those talks, will continue discussions back in Israel now on mapping out the area for annexation.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could present the annexation plan to the Knesset for a vote as early as July 1.
But many Israelis say the word “annexation” is a misnomer.
“It’s not annexation. It applies the Israel law over this area,” Deutsch told CBN News.
Deutsch also said they need to know what declaring sovereignty over 30% of Judea and Samaria means for a future Palestinian State in the other 70%.
“If the only way of Israel applying sovereignty over this area is a creation of a terrorist state in the land of Israel, we are against applying the law over this area. However, if this is not part of the creation of a terrorist state, we are definitely for it and hope Israel is going to go ahead with it,” Deutsch said.
Yossi Dagan, head of the Shomron Regional Council, says while Trump is the best president ever for Israel, the Jewish State can’t go against the command of God.
“The Land of Israel is a gift from the Holy One, blessed be He, to the people of Israel but this is not just a gift,” Dagan told CBN News.
“It’s not just a promise of prophecy and the prophets it’s also a command. We have no right to relinquish one centimeter of the Land of Israel. No one has the right to demand that we give up one centimeter,” Dagan said.
Dagan says if annexing 30 percent of the Land is just a start, and more talks would follow, then it’s good for Israel.
“But it’s certainly forbidden to put a building freeze on the sites in the Bible - on Mt. Gerezim, the Mt. of Blessing, Alon Moreh, Hebron, Shiloh, the most important places to the Jewish people (and) to say ‘don’t build’ so that more Jewish people won’t come to live here,” he said. “We certainly don’t want this situation.”
Some 200 House Democrats sent a letter to President Trump opposing the annexation.
United Nations Secretary General António Guterres also warned against the plan to extend Israel’s sovereignty.
“If implemented, annexation would constitute a most serious violation of international law, grievously harm the prospect of a two-State solution and undercut the possibilities of a renewal of negotiations,” Guterres told a high-level virtual meeting of the Security Council this week.
Jordan’s King Abdullah says it’s unacceptable and the Palestinian Authority has rejected the plan and warned violence will break out.
But many Christian supporters of Israel also believe the plan should go forward – with one saying it’s not annexation, it’s Israel’s Land.
"I don't know about an annexation plan, I know about a sovereignty plan. This is the Bible Land, and the Bible is not illegal," says Christian-Zionist Dr. Mike Evans, founder of the Friends of Zion Museum.
Horowitz says despite the complications they should just press ahead.
“When you have a vision and I say this as a principle, there’s always a lot of noise. There’s always a lot of people telling you, “you can’t,” but we move forward to get to that goal,” Horowitz said.