E1 – THE ILLEGAL LINK THAT CONSOLIDATES THE OCCUPATION.
Israel’s settlements are illegal under international law and the Geneva Convention, and Maale Adumim, its largest settler city stands out as the key factor in Israel’s colonial expansion as far west as possible from Jerusalem towards Jericho. Most of Maale Adumim (87%) is built on Palestinian-owned land. Maale Adumim was planned by the Thomas Leitersdorf (AA dipl) and designed by Elioar Barzacchi (the Mother of Maale Adumim) in the 1980s as the chief architect for the Jerusalem district at the Construction and Housing Ministry which created and is still creating facts on the ground that thwart negotiations on the city's future and is causing infringements of the rights of Palestinians in East Jerusalem and implementing a policy of occupation and annexation, land confiscation, discrimination and expulsion. The "empty" hills of Ma'aleh Adumim were not empty and "Mohammed" was indeed told to get up and go, like all the members of the Jahalin tribe that is now forced to live in the area of the Abu Dis garbage dump, as journalist Gideon Levy recently wrote.
E1 is the hilly area between East Jerusalem and Maale Adumim that Israel is intending to annex, to form a continuous urban development. Currently Israel is confiscating lands on the northern and western side of the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim just outside of Jerusalem . These confiscations (without compensation) are taking place from the Palestinian villages of Anata, Al-Izariyyah, Abu Dis and A-Zayim. The intention of this action is to expand the municipal area of Ma’ale Adumim westward to join up with Jerusalem . But as ‘Ir-Amim’, the Israeli website on Jerusalem has stated, E1 is not Maale Adumim and cannot be considered as expansion of that town, which is in any case illegal. Currently, Ma’ale Adumim houses some 30,000 settlers. Under the E1 project an additional 5,600 more settlement homes for approximately 25,000 new residents will be added to its municipal area. Additionally, some 1,600 dunums of land are being confiscated to erect Israel ’s Apartheid wall for Ma’ale Adumim.
The police station for E1 has already been built despite its land confiscation and illegality, and the road network and street lights have also been built in readiness for the new housing near that land.
This action is not only in contravention of the US sponsored road map agreement, but it would effectively destroy any future possibility of a contiguous Palestinian state by cutting off east Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank, and by cutting of the northern part of the West Bank from the southern part..It is a deliberate violation of the Road Map, Oslo , and any basis for negotiating land for peace. When complete the total land area of Ma’ale Adumim and E1 will be 65,000 dunums, an area larger than Tel Aviv, in the heart of what would have been a Palestinian state.
We call in Israeli architects and planners to end their indifference and blindness to the political implications of their professional work and ethics. They should recognize their complicity in the injustices resulting from their participation in consolidating the Occupation, and the terrible suffering being inflicted on the Palestinians in the Occupied West Bank. We call on all parties to halt this illegal project forthwith , as required by the International Court of Justice in its ruling on the Wall in 1994.
The E1-Lifta-Silwan Petition