Following Ir Amim's report yesterday on PM Netanyahu’s announcement of promotion of construction in E1, the plans below (marked in red in the E1 area on map below) were advanced today at the Higher Planning Committee of the Civil Administration and deposited for objections:
- YOSH/420/4/7 known as E1 South calls for construction of 1,228 housing units in an area of 818 dunams.
- YOSH/420/4/10 known as E1 East calls for construction of 2,173 housing units in an area of 1,315 dunams.
Now that they are deposited, there will be a period of sixty days during which formal objections to the plan can be submitted. This is a crucial step in the approval process of outline plans.
Link here for higher resolution map.
E1 has remained an international red line due to its dire ramifications to the viability of a two-state solution with two capitals in Jerusalem. Israeli construction in the E1 area would bifurcate the West Bank along every axis, driving a wedge between the Ramallah and Bethlehem areas as well as fracture the contiguous Palestinian space between East Jerusalem and the West Bank necessary for a viable Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Although these advancements have taken place against the backdrop of the upcoming Israeli elections, they should also be seen as an alarm bell in the context of a new reality which has been created with the publication of the US Peace Plan. Carte blanche has essentially been given to Netanyahu and the Israeli government to further carry out unilateral measures in the Jerusalem area with little to no resistance. An acute exemplification of this major shift is the spate of new settlement plans (Atarot, Har Homa E, Givat Hamatos) being advanced over the Green Line in East Jerusalem, and now within the E1 area.
After years of restraint due to international opposition, Israel is now set to advance construction in some of the most controversial areas in Jerusalem and along its perimeter. The realization of these plans will serve as an immense obstacle towards the future establishment of a Palestinian capital in the city and the prospect of a negotiated agreement based on a viable two-state framework.
Ir Amim will continue to monitor and update on developments concerning E1 and the plans along the southern perimeter.