March 24, 2009

Photos of E1

• East 1, or E1, is a 4.6 square mile area of land between Jerusalem and the built up areas of Maale Adumim, a settlement that is an eastern suburb of Jerusalem.
• Israel considers E1 part of the official municipal boundaries of Maale Adumim. Maale Adumim’s boundaries are larger than Tel Aviv’s, despite the city having less than 10 percent of Tel Aviv’s population, and its built-up areas comprise around 15 percent of its municipal boundaries.
Portions of E1 remain privately owned by Palestinians.
• Construction in E1 would connect Jerusalem with Maale Adumim thereby largely dividing the northern and southern West Bank. There are also concerns that it would isolate East Jerusalem from the West Bank.

• In 1994, the Rabin government extended the municipal borders of Maale Adumim to include E1, but did not begin construction in the area.
• In March 1997, the Netanyahu cabinet approved a development plan for E1.
• In June 1998, the cabinet gave preliminary approval to the creation of an umbrella municipality for Jerusalem that includes Maale Adumim.
• In May 1999, during the transition between the Netanyahu and Barak governments, the Supreme Planning Committee, Israel’s highest development council in the West Bank, approved construction plans for 3,500 housing units in E1. The construction did not begin because it required additional permits, including one from the defense minister.
• In 2002, then-Defense Minister Benjamin Ben Eliezer signed the Jerusalem umbrella municipality plans into law, but due to U.S. pressure, no further actions were taken.
• In September 2004, work began on the construction of the same 3,500 new homes but was soon halted because the correct building permits had not been issued and the construction violated Maale Adumim’s master development plan.
• In January 2005, then-Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz approved the same housing plans that had been halted earlier in 2004. In September, during an election season, deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the government had frozen the construction plans, though the government had previously made clear that construction would not begin for at least two years. Olmert also said that Israel was committed to building in E1 in the future.
• In March 2006, the construction of a new West Bank police headquarters in E1 began.
• In May 2008, the new police headquarters opened.

Recent News
• Maale Adumim municipality’s plans for construction of the 3,500 housing units in E1 remain.
• In the past two years investment in infrastructure in E1, including construction of roads, lighting, observation posts, fences and a dividing barrier on the highway, is estimated to have cost 100 million New Israeli Shekel (NIS).
• Approximately NIS 120 million has also been invested in a road that extends from Jerusalem to Ramallah bypassing E1. According to those who planned the road in the Sharon government, it is intended to allow Israel to expand settlement growth around East Jerusalem, while still providing movement for Palestinians between the northern and southern West Bank. The road has not been opened for traffic.

For additional information on E1 see an Americans for Peace Now report, "E-1 & Ma’ale Adumim"

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