E-1 — oh yeah, it’s a big deal

Here is a graphic published by Haaretz showing the E-1 area to the east of Israel’s “Greater Jerusalem Municipality”:

Haaretz graphic of E-1 - published 4 December 2012 <a href=

Haaretz graphic of E-1 - published on 4 December 2012 - click to enlarge

So, if there actually were an agreement that Anata + Abu Dis would go to Palestine, you can see what E-1 would do to that…

UPDATE: Daniel Seidemann has published another good graphic showing the E-1 in context, posted here.  But there is one settlement missing – Anatot – on the western edge of E-1, not far from Hizmah and Pisgat Zeev.

Here’s what Chemi Shalev, author of the Haaretz Q+A on “What is area E-1, anyway?”, posted here, which this graphic illustrates, wrote:

“In 2004, the Housing Ministry began massive earthworks in the area. The Palestinian Authority complained to the Bush Administration. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, who was the liaison with the Prime Minister’s Bureau, asked for clarifications. Dov Weissglas, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s envoy, promised that Israel would not build in E-1. And indeed, in 2005 the plans were frozen, and have remained so ever since”.

…[Under Rabin] in 1994, the government started the initial planning of the area.

Shaev explained what was done — despite the period of “clarifications” — by the Housing Ministry in that period [and some since]:

Q. What did they build there?
A. The Housing Ministry prepared, with an investment of millions of shekels, the infrastructure for putting up residential buildings in the southern neighborhood. This included a cloverleaf interchange over Highway 1, a three-lane highway in each direction, excavation in the rock in order to flatten the hill, preparation for sewage infrastructures and the like.

In another Q+A, Shalev explains what seems to be a contradiction:
Q. How did they start building if there are no building permits?
A. From 2003-2005 the Housing Ministry, under the leadership of Minister Effie Eitam, did massive illegal building in a number of places. E-1 was only one of them.

Shalev also took issue with the claim [advanced by Camera.org + The Israel Project, as we reported here yesterday] that Israel’s contiguity of from Jerusalem to Maale Adumum would be disrupted if E-1 were not developed [with Israeli settlements]:

Q. Another argument the right is raising is that this is essential for creating contiguity between Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim.
A. False. There is no possibility of creating contiguity between Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim because even if E-1 is built, a belt made up by the Arab towns of Anata, Al Zaiyim and Azariya will stand in between.

And, as with everything related to Palestinians — whose consent is never needed for Israel to act unilaterally as it wants — Shalev notes:

“There are also enclaves of Palestinian land in the area, but the plan does not relate to them”.

In fact, it seems that they will be displaced, including the Jahalin Bedouin who have already been displaced in 1948 + 1967, without any care for what happens to them… no nice settlement-style houses with public facilities will be constructed for them…

[One minor point of correction to Shalev's Q+A:   The way it's written, you could read his third Q+A to mean that Mitzpe Yeriho is part of the E-1 area.  But, it seems that particular answer was a general description of the E area, as Mitzpe Yeriho  which was originally a kind of civil defense avant-guard front line settlement, is built on a hilltop overlooking the Palestinian city of Jericho [which will become a surrounded enclave if the Israeli plans are realized]… But Mitzpe Yeriho also overlooks a large swath of the Jordanian border just north of the Dead Sea.  In other words, Mitzpe Yeriho, one of many Israeli settlemets of all kinds in the Jordan Valley, is much further east than the E-1 area.]

UPDATE: Isabel Kershner reported some Israeli reaction in the New York Times: “ ‘Bibi had to do something’ in response to the United Nations vote, said Prof. Shmuel Sandler of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan Universiy, referring to the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, by his nickname, ‘first because he is Bibi and second because of the elections’.” [Netanyahu has called general elections for 22 January.]  This NYTimes story also reported that Mark Heller, foreign policy analyst at Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies, in Tel Aviv, said that “the top-level people making decisions here in recent years are completely insular and out of touch with the rest of the world, especially regarding the Palestinians and the settlements … Self-righteousness may be good for domestic politics, but it is not a policy’.”   Kershner also noted in her report, posted here, that “A press officer for United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement on Sunday that construction in E1 ‘would represent an almost fatal blow to remaining chances of securing a two-state solution’.”

Reuters Bureau Chief in Jerusalem Crispin Balmer wrote that “Israelis have already named the prospective settlement Mevasseret Adumim – Tidings of Adumim. Maale Adumim itself means Red Heights – a reference to the surrounding mountains that glow at sunset. Preparation for building started long ago and a sealed-off bridge stands ready to link Maale Adumim with its projected sister settlement, while a major road intersection swings up into E1 from the highway that heads down to the nearby Dead Sea…Israeli authorities drew up plans in 2006 to move the Arab Bedouin to another site. They have yet to act on it, but rights groups say the project is specifically designed to clear the way for E1 development”. But, Balmer noted, the general director of the municipality of Maale Adumim, Eli Har Nir, told him that “‘The media are telling lies about this conflict all the time … You can’t even see Jerusalem from here. There is still six kilometers of open land that does not belong to E1 or to Maale Adumim’, he said, arguing that this space could be used to build roads for Palestinians”. This is published here.

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UPDATE More on E-1 [and various boasts and then assurances] from Twitter over several days –

Sunday 2 December 2012

Aluf Benn @alufbenn — BB will probably not build E1 for now, merely push the project through approval channels

Dan Williams @DanWilliams — “Today we are building and will continue to build in Jerusalem and in all the places on the map of Israeli strategic interests” – @Netanyahu

@DanWilliams — There’ll be no Palestinian state without an accord recognising the Jewish state and guaranteeing its security needs – @Netanyahu statement

Amir Mizroch @Amirmizroch — If US and UK can’t stop Abbas going to UNGA what their chance of stopping settlement construction @sheikhNB @DanWilliams

Peter Beinart @PeterBeinart – For the American Jewish establishment, 138 countries voting to upgrade Palestine is “unilateral” but settling E1 is not

Monday 3  December 2012

Barak Ravid @BarakRavid — White House: U.S. calls on Israel to reconsider settlement plan in E-1 – http://bit.ly/Vr594d

@BarakRavid — State Department: We have made clear to the Israeli government that promoting E1 plan is contrary to U.S. policy

@BarakRavid — State Department: building in the E-1 area is particularly sensitive

4 or  5 December 2012

@DanielSeidemann — @yaacovlozowick Is it it be possible to locate documents in State Archives about the origin of the name E-1. The name isn’t controversial.

@yaacovlozowick — @DanielSeidemann We\re looking. Sometime around 1994, I assume?

@DanielSeidemann — @yaacovlozowick State Archives should find that planning of E-1 began in ’93-4, but the name was given to area by Min. of Constr. in ’70s

Thursday 13 December 2012:

@Marianhouk — [ On E-1 ] RT @jacobkornbluh “@BarakRavid @PeterBeinart did anyone condemn Rabin for approving the plans back then?”

@DanielSeidemann — @Marianhouk @BarakRavid @PeterBeinart E-1 planning began under Rabin, but he quietly agreed with Clinton: E1 would be negotiated, not built

@DanielSeidemann — @Marianhouk @BarakRavid @PeterBeinart Rabin was as good as his word: no steps were taken for the statutory approval of E-1 under Rabin.

Michael Pitkowsky @mpitkowsky — @DanielSeidemann @Marianhouk @BarakRavid @PeterBeinart See this doc from Pal Papers r.e. E1 and alleged Isr promise http://bit.ly/Twljnj

Excerpt from this Palestine Papers document, posted on the Al-Jazeera website here: “Saeb Erekat: We gave Barack Obama a file that gave him all the details on this issue, on E1, on Ma’ale Adumim, etc. Hilary Clinton told us that E1 wasn’t going to happen but to be quiet. She got something from the Israelis”.

@DanielSeidemann — @mpitkowsky @Marianhouk @BarakRavid @PeterBeinart  Thanks! , My reliable US sources say: Bibi told us “no action will be taken on E1″.

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3 Responses to “E-1 — oh yeah, it’s a big deal”

  1. “Q. Another argument the right is raising is that this is essential for creating contiguity between Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim.
    A. False. There is no possibility of creating contiguity between Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim because even if E-1 is built, a belt made up by the Arab towns of Anata, Al Zaiyim and Azariya will stand in between.”

    Don’t take all what Shalev is saying for granted.
    He is trying to mislead the readers (I’m not thinking he don’t knows the facts on the ground).
    If E-1 will built, it will block Al-Zayim and Anata from merging, and will ensure, that 1 mile corridor between them will connect Maale Adumim to the French Hill.
    Just look on the maps.

  2. Zayim is not indicated on the maps, and I was trying earlier to figure out where it is exactly on the graphic — I think it must be that unidentified beige/tan blob just below Issawiyya…

    Zayim has an exit for its residents to drive towards Jerusalem through the Az-Zayim checkpoint…

    So, if E-1 would block Anata from merging with Zayim, how could this have been a serious proposal for the future capital of Palestine?

  3. Yes, this will not be ease: the tunnel and/or overhead bridge will connect those neighborhoods.

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