Unprecedented Delay in the Publication of E1 Plans' Documents

March 12, 2020
As Ir Amim previously reported, following Prime Minister Netanyahu's announcement to immediately advance construction plans in E1, two large plans for some 3400 housing units were deposited for objections by the Higher Planning Committee of the Civil Administration on February 26. Two days later on February 28, an official notice of the plans' deposit was published in Maariv, a Hebrew language daily newspaper. From the time of the notice's official publication, the public is given 60 days to submit objections to the plans. However, as of today, two weeks after the notice's publication, the plans' documents have yet to be released, which is contrary to the norm. They do not appear on the Planning Authority's website and following an Ir Amim inquiry vis-à-vis the Maaleh Adumim planning bureau, they too have yet to receive the documents.
As long as the documents are unpublished and inaccessible, it is impossible for the public to assess the plan's details and hence submit respective objections accordingly. Consequently, the plans' supposed deposit for objections has technically not entered into effect. The delay in the publication of the plans' documents is unprecedented since according to official procedures, the documents' publication takes places immediately following public notice of a plan's deposit. It is unlikely that a two-week delay in the documents' official release is simply related to a technical issue, but rather driven by political circumstances.
This unprecedented delay in the publication of the E1 plans' documents should also be seen along with the rare outcomes of the discussions on the three plans designated for the areas of Givat Hamatos and Har Homa held at the District Planning Committee on February 27. As Ir Amim reported on March 8, following these discussions, none of the aforementioned plans were advanced, which while in principal is a possible scenario, is very rare and certainly raises questions as to the reasoning behind these results.
While Netanyahu is clearly looking for opportunities to promote such plans, these rare developments potentially signal that following the Israeli elections, the Trump administration has called for reinstated restraints based on various pressures. Nonetheless, heightened monitoring and vigilance of any subsequent advancement of these plans are still necessary.