||It has been suggested that E1 Plan be merged into this article. (Discuss) Proposed since December 2012.|
The E1 zone (sometimes E-1 zone) or E1 area or E1 (short for East 1) (Hebrew: מְבַשֶּׂרֶת אֲדֻמִּים) is an area of the West Bank within the municipal boundary of the Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim. It is located adjacent to and northeast of East Jerusalem. It covers an area of 12 square kilometres (4.6 sq mi), which is home to a number of Bedouin communities and their livestock as well as a large Israeli police headquarters. The Palestinian tent site of Bab al Shams, which was established for several days in early 2013, also lay within this area.
There are Israeli plans for construction in E1, frozen since at least 2009 under international pressure. The international community considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal under international law, but the Israeli government disputes this. Construction in E1 is controversial as it would effectively complete a crescent of Israeli settlements around East Jerusalem dividing it from the rest of the West Bank and its Palestinian population centres and create a continuous Jewish population between Jerusalem and Ma'ale Adumim. It would also nearly bisect the West Bank jeopardizing the prospects of a contiguous Palestinian state.
Situated in the West Bank, the E1 area is bordered by the French Hill neighborhood of Jerusalem to the west, Abu Dis to the southwest, Kedar to the south, Ma'ale Adumim to the east, and Almon to the north. The area is mountainous and covers almost 3,000 acres. The E1 area runs between the Eastern most edges of annexed East Jerusalem and nearby Ma'ale Adumim, a large Israeli settlement located East of the pre-1967 green line. E1 falls within Area C of the West Bank, under full Israeli military and civilian control, and is administered by Ma'ale Adumim.
During the government of Yitzhak Shamir in 1991 part of the area currently known as E1 was transferred to the Maale Adumim local council. In January 1994, the Higher Planning Council of Judea and Samaria's Subcommittee for Settlement tabled a new plan that expanded the municipal plan for Maale Adumim and, in effect, constituted the basis for the future E1 plan. Yitzhak Rabin expanded the borders of Ma'ale Adumim to include the area known as E1 and instructed Housing Minister Binyamin Ben Eliezer to begin planning a neighborhood at the location. From then on, planning and authorization procedures for the E1 neighborhood were promoted but were never totally completed, given the diplomatic constraints. Since Yitzhak Rabin every Israeli prime minister has supported the plan to create Israeli urban contiguity between Maale Adumim and Jerusalem:
On 13 March 1996, Prime Minister Shimon Peres reaffirmed the government’s position that Israel will demand applying Israeli sovereignty over Ma’aleh Adumim in the framework of a permanent peace agreement. Dovish politician and co-author of the Geneva Initiative, Yossi Beilin, supported annexing Ma’aleh Adumim. According to a document of understandings between former minister Yossi Beilin and Mahmoud Abbas from the mid-1990s, while some Jerusalem Arab neighborhoods were to be transferred to a future Palestinian state, Israel was to annex the Jewish communities around Jerusalem, such as Maale Adumim, Givat Zeev, Beitar, and Efrat. According to the Clinton outline for partitioning Jerusalem that arose in the talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority at Camp David in 2000, Israel was to be compensated for partitioning the city by annexing Maale Adumim.
During the 2008 Annapolis negotiations, then-prime minister Ehud Olmert and then-foreign minister Tzipi Livni demanded that Ma’aleh Adumim remain a part of Israel. And Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's declared that "the State of Israel will continue to build in Jerusalem and in all the places on the state’s strategic map" is a continuation of the political tradition that views control over E1 as a cardinal Israeli interest.
Following the legal terms of the Oslo II Interim Agreement from 28 September 1995. The area E1 was designated as Area C, where Israel retained the powers of zoning and planning. However, despite long-standing plans for the municipality of Ma'aleh Adumim to build 3000 new housing units on the E1 territory, Israel undertook unilateral limitations upon itself in this area in recent years.
Since 2008, the headquarters of the Samaria and Judea district of the Israeli Police Department are situated in the E1.
In December 2012, in response to the United Nations approving the Palestinian bid for "non-member observer state" status, Israel announced the next day that it was resuming planning and zoning work in E1 area. EU ministers expressed their "dismay" and five European countries summoned Israeli ambassadors to protest.
The plan for the E1 area within the municipal boundary of Maale Adumim, sought to develop the area in order to link Maale Adumim and its 40,000 residents to Jerusalem. It entails building about 3,500 housing units, the now-completed police headquarters of the Judea and Samaria district, as well as industrial, tourism, and commercial areas. Also a garbage dump and a large cemetery to be shared by Jerusalem and Maale Adumim.
Construction in the area is a subject of controversy, with the Palestinians claiming that it would prevent sovereign Palestinian contiguity between the northern and southern areas of the West Bank and Increase travel time between Ramallah region north of Jerusalem to the Bethlehem region to the south. Which would make it difficult to reach agreement over permanent borders. The United States and EU has supported the Palestinian position and has sought to block Israeli construction at the site, pending a final peace agreement. Israeli governments have so far avoided construction in E1 due to international pressure.
Israel claims that E1 plans have been regarded as strategically important for Jerusalem's security by all of Israel's former Prime Ministers since Prime Minister Rabin appended E1 to Ma'ale Adumim. According to Ma'ale Adumim Mayor Bennie Kashriel, Mvasseret Adumim is needed to allow continuous natural growth in Ma'ale Adumim, and is essential for Ma'ale Adumim's security. Without Mvasseret Adumim, Ma'ale Adumim is detached from Jerusalem — which is a 12-minute car ride away, and is vulnerable to anyone who seizes the E1 range. Ma'ale Adumim is often compared to Mount Scopus, an Israeli settlement under UN control threatened during multiple conflicts from 1948-1967. Israel also claims to have the legal authority to continue building and that a bypass road, the proposed solution to a continuous Palestinian state to be an acceptable solution that the PA agreed to in the past.[verification needed] The Palestinian Authority (PA) negotiators fear that Jewish settlement construction in E1 would separate East Jerusalem from the West Bank.
Palestinian Contiguity Road
To address Palestinian concerns, Israel has constructed a series of bypass roads that allow access from East Jerusalem to the West Bank. The total cost of construction was estimated in 2009 as amounting to ₪200m (approx. US$50m) for the previous two years. The building of this infrastructure was interpreted as motivated by a desire to "claim" the E1 area ahead of constructing residential neighborhoods.
A number Bedouin and their livestock have their homes in E1. These include the Jahalin Bedouin who state they resided in the E1 area since the 1950s with the consent of the landowners from Abu Dis and al-Eizariya, whereas the Israel claimed that it was only around the year 1988 that groups of the Jahalin tribe began to settle there and on adjacent lands.
Israeli efforts to remove the Jahalin Bedouin who live on the E1 lands have also been interpreted as preparing the ground for settlement construction. The European Union submitted a formal protest to the Israeli Foreign Ministry over evacuating Bedouin and tearing down Palestinians' houses in the E1 area in December 2011. Israel denied that such evacuations were a preparation for settlement construction.
In February 2012, Israeli authorities abandoned plans to resettle the Jahalin Bedouin to the Abu Dis garbage dump, but confirmed their intention to concentrate them in one location, which would be contrary to their traditional nomadic lifestyle, based on animals grazing.
Bab al Shams
In 11 January 2013, a group of about 250 Palestinian and foreign activists saying that they wanted to establish "facts of the ground" moved into the area to erect a tent site, which they wanted to develop into a village called Bab al-Shams. Following a supreme court ruling and less than 48 hours after beginning protest the activists were forcibly evacuated, but the tent site was left for six days while the issue of its removal was being discussed.
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