E1 Plans Advancing – Fifty Days Left for Submitting of Objections

On June 3rd the military order that froze planning processes in the West Bank during the COVID19 emergency period expired. Among other plans the order froze the objections' period for two detailed outline plans in E1: E1-East (TPS 420/4/10) and E1-South (TPS 420/4/7). With the expiring of the order there are now 50 days remaining  and objections can be submitted until July 23rd.

The date for discussing objections is not determined in advance and is as of yet unknown. Only after discussion of objections can the plans be approved.

The significance of E1
If approved, the two plans for a combined total of 3,400 housing units, will mark the beginning of creating a contiguous built up Israeli settlement area between Maale Adumim and East Jerusalem.  The two plans were frozen for many years until on February 2020, a week before the Israeli elections, Prime Minister Netanyahu announced his decision to advance them as well as the new settlements of Givat Hamatos and Har Homa E.

E1 is area an area the size of 12 square kilometers. It stretches eastwards from the boundary of annexed East Jerusalem and connects it with the Maale Adumim settlement (see map). Construction in the E1 area will have far reaching consequences: It will create a contiguous built up Israeli wedge between Ramallah and the north of the West Bank and Beth Lehem and the south of the West Bank. It will also block future Palestinian contiguity between East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Construction in E1 is considered to be the final nail in the coffin of the two state solution. All the more so if the recent announcements regarding Givat Hamatos, Har Homa E and Atarot materialize into actual construction of new settlements. These will create huge obstacles to the creation of a viable Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as capital.

Another reason that construction in E1 has been reason for international concern is the Israeli intention to uproot the Bedouin communities living in the area. In October 2018 Israel begun actions for uprooting the Bedouin community in Khan Alakhmar but was pressured by European Community and several member states  to freeze the move. It was reported that Israel was worried about repercussions in the International Criminal Court (ICC).

For a detailed explanation of the Israeli plans in E1 and their consequences see Ir Amim’s report.