|A discussion on the E1 plans is scheduled to take place at the Local Planning Committee of the Maaleh Adumim Local Council on February 14. Yesterday, colleagues at Peace Now received notice to attend the discussion in the framework of the joint objection submitted against the plans in August 2020 by Ir Amim, Peace Now, and the Association of Environmental Justice in Israel.
While a discussion on the objections has yet to be scheduled at the Civil Administration (a final stage in the approval process), the planned discussion at the Local Planning Committee signifies a continued heightened acceleration of settlement plans in the Greater Jerusalem area despite the new US administration in Washington. The scheduling of this discussion follows close on the heels of other expedited developments in both Givat Hamatos and Har Homa E, all of which have long remained international redline areas due to their lethal ramifications on the viability of a two-state framework with two capitals in Jerusalem.
As reported previously, the two E1 plans are for a total of 3,401 housing units in an area comprised of 2,100 dunams. These two plans constitute the first step in creating a contiguous, Israeli built-up area extending from Jerusalem through E1 to the Maaleh Adumim settlement - 11 kilometers beyond the Green Line. The outcome of which would bisect the West Bank, 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.
These plans are a prime example of numerous projects (settlement plans, road infrastructure, and so forth) that the Israeli government has been advancing over the past year in specifically Greater Jerusalem, which constitute a dramatic leap towards de-facto annexation of this area.
Construction in E1 not only deals a death blow to the prospects of a sustainable Palestinian state with a capital in East Jerusalem, but will likewise lead to the displacement and dispossession of some 3,000 Palestinians living in Bedouin communities in the area, including Khan al-Ahmar.