Old City (Jerusalem)

E1 Plan is an Israeli administrative name for the stretch of land northeast of Jerusalem to the west of the settlement of Ma'ale Adumim, with E-1 being anabbreviation for "East 1".[1] The plan aims at preventing any possible expansion of Arab Jerusalem by creating a physical link between Ma'ale Adumim and Jerusalem.[2] The plan was initiallyconceived by Yitzhak Rabin in 1995[3].

The E1 plan is described as an effort to Judaize Jerusalem.[4][5][6] The E-1 plan is not synonymous with the expansion of Ma'ale Adumim.[1]

E1 Plan

The plan entails building about 15,000 residential homes and a large police station, a large industrial zone, hotels, a garbage dump and a large cemetery to be shared by Jerusalem and Maale Adumim.[7]

The disputed E1 area is located in the West Bank and spans the area between Jerusalem and the Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim. The land in question comprises about 12,000 dunams, which is roughly Template:Km2 to mi2.[1][8]

If the E-1 plan is fully implemented Palestinians could, theoretically, travel between the northern and southern West Bank via a road – that at this time does not exist – through the Judean desert, looping around the Ma'ale Adumim bloc and the expanded area of Jerusalem whose outskirts would stretch nearly to Jericho. There have also been suggestions for an alternate road route for Palestinians running north-south between Ma'ale Adumim and Jerusalem that uses overpasses and tunnels to bypass Israeli built-up areas (which already exists to some extent).[1]

The E1 area is the only geographical connection remaining between Jerusalem and the West Bank.[9]

Historical Sequence

In 1994, Yitzhak Rabin expanded the borders of Ma'ale Adumim significantly to include the area known as E-1. Rabin, however, refrained from implementing any construction in the E-1 area between Ma'ale Adumim and Jerusalem.[1]

During the Netanyahu government, the Prime Minister attempted to expedite the E-1 Master Plan. A first statutory step to implementation of the plan, which includes general land designations but is not specific enough to allow the issuance of building permits, was undertaken, along with the establishment of a Greater Jerusalem umbrella municipality which was to include Ma'ale Adumim.[1]

During the Barak government, the Prime Minister expressed support for E-1 but refrained from undertaking any construction in the E-1 area. Barak did place the issue of E-1 on the negotiating table at Taba and the matter remained unresolved when the Taba talks broke up.[1]

In 2002, Minister of Defense Binyamin Ben-Eliezer signed the Master Plan for E-1 (expedited, but not approved under Netanyahu administration) into law. Ben Eliezer subsequently pledged to the U.S. administration not to implement the E-1 plan, and indeed no further statutory planning was carried out and there was no construction in E-1 during his tenure in office.[1]

In mid 2004, construction commenced on infrastructure in E-1. The work was carried out by the Ministry of Construction and was illegal: in the absence of a Specific Town Plan, no permits could be or were issued to allow for this work. The work included the clearing of roads for major highways leading to the planned residential areas and site preparation for the planned police station (so that the police station in Ras Al Amud may be transferred to the settlers there, tripling their presence in the heart of that Palestinian neighborhood of East Jerusalem). [1]

Objective and results of the Plan

This plan, if fully implemented, will cut off East Jerusalem from its Palestinian surroundings once-and-for-all, criticizers of the plan say this is the real intention of this policy. The massive bubble is intended to cut the West Bank in two, and the E-1 plan is intended to seal off eastern Jerusalem and cut it off from the West Bank. In either case, and certainly with both together, the plan will nix any possibility of ever reaching an agreement with even the most moderate Palestinians. [7]

The severing of the northern part of the West Bank from the southern part will also result from the plan's implementation, resulting in the total isolation of east Jerusalem residents from their natural Palestinian environs.[10]

Demolition orders against Palestinian houses in East Jerusalem are part of what the Israeli Mayor of Jerusalem and the city planners have called the 'E1 Plan', so as to make way for Disney-like theme parks based on biblical themes. The Plan entails the complete demolition of all Palestinian homes in the Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah neighborhoods in order to build a park that would be off-limits to the Palestinians on whose land it would be built[11].

In a court case which rendered a decision in May 2009, Israeli judges ruled to allow the demolition of the Hanoun and Al-Ghawi families' homes, whose lawyer presented land ownership documents dating from the time of Ottoman rule in Palestine, preceding the establishment of the Israeli state in 1948.[11]

According to the Palestinian presidential chief of staff, Rafiq Husseini, "The E1 plan would separate the northern and southern West Bank from East Jerusalem, which would prevent the establishment of Palestinian state".[9]

Opposing the Plan

There has been wide-scale opposition to the plan – opposition mobilized originally by lawyers and activists, including those associated with Peace Now, who closely follow developments in Jerusalem.[12]

It is reported that there is resolute opposition to the E1 plan from the American administration under President Barack Obama.[13]


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