Update from June 11, 2023:
The Israeli government has decided to postpone the meeting scheduled for this week to advance the highly controversial E1 settlement project. The decision comes in response to concerns raised by the US regarding the sensitive location of the plan.
The Subcommittee for Objections within the Higher Planning Committee had initially planned to discuss objections to the E1 plan on Monday, 12.6.23. However, taking into account international pressure and the potential implications of the plan, the Israeli government has chosen to delay the discussion.
The situation surrounding the E1 settlement plan continues to be closely monitored by our Settlement Watch team as discussions and developments unfold.
The Subcommittee for Objections within the Higher Planning Committee will discuss on Monday, 12.6.23, objections to the E1 plan. In the past, Israel postponed the discussion because of international pressure, due to the sensitive location of the plan. E1 aims to create a bloc of settlements between Ma’ale Adumim and Jerusalem, prevent a Palestinian territorial continuity between the southern West Bank and its north, and promote the annexation of the Ma’ale Adumim bloc to Israel.
The meaning of the discussion for the plan approval:
The Subcommittee for Objections within the Higher Planning Council (HPC) held two discussions on objections in October 2021. The third discussion is that of the Ma’ale Adumim municipality, and the final one in the objection hearing stage. After this discussion, the committee will make its decision regarding the plan. In the past, the discussion on objections was indefinitely postponed due to pressure from the United States.
The discussion on objections in the subcommittee is a necessary stage for advancing the plan. After hearing the objections, the subcommittee recommends approving or rejecting the plan. Then, the process moves to the next step, which is a discussion for validation in the Subcommittee for Settlements within the HPC for the purpose of approval and subsequently publishing the approval. All of these stages in the planning process require prior approval from the Minister of Defense. For more information on the planning process, click here.
The impact of the E1 plan on the two-state solution and Israel’s annexation plans:
Construction in E1 is considered essentially fatal to the prospect of a two-state solution because it divides the West Bank into two – a northern and a southern region – and prevents the development of the central Ramallah-East Jerusalem-Bethlehem metropolis in the West Bank. Even from an Israeli development and planning perspective, a settlement in E1 will do more harm than good and may weaken Jerusalem economically and socially. For the full text of the E1 plan objection, click here.
The construction in E1 aligns with settler plans to annex the Ma’ale Adumim settlement bloc. In April, it was reported that the Civil Administration announced its intention to advance the construction of a separate road only for Palestinians between the villages of Azariya and a-Za’im. This road would facilitate the advancement of the construction plan in E1 and create an Israeli territorial continuity without Palestinian presence from the Ma’ale Adumim bloc to the Good Samaritan site.
In a statement issued by the mayor of Ma’ale Adumim about two years ago, he explicitly and without diplomatic language revealed the actual goals of the road: to allow for the closure of a vast area in the center of the West Bank from Palestinians by diverting Palestinians to the road, and thus to make the space an integral part of the State of Israel. The mayor of Ma’ale Adumim stated, ” This is a separate road for Palestinians in the E1 area whose purpose is to separate the transportation route between the Palestinian and Israeli population in the area so that Palestinian vehicles can move without passing through Ma’ale Adumim Bloc, near Jewish settlements.” For more information on the “sovereignty road” and the settlers’ statements on the subject, click here.
Peace Now: The advancement of construction in E1 is another step in the current Israeli government’s actions, which since its establishment, has been establishing new settlements, returning settlers to the northern West Bank, and now working to create conditions for the annexation of the West Bank. Just last week, the Israeli government violated its commitment to the US government and re-established the outpost of Homesh in the northern West Bank. Next week it will violate an Israeli commitment again by promoting the construction plan in E1. This pro-settler and annexationist government seems to continue to act according to a systematic plan that leads us to a reality of apartheid, undermining the chances of a political solution between Israelis and Palestinians. The Israeli public and our friends around the world must wake up and stop Israel from falling into the abyss.