|The Civil Administration set August 9th as a date for discussing objections to the E1 plans, E1-South (TPS YOSH 420-4-7) and E1-East (TPS YOSH 420-4-10). Such a discussion is the last stage for the final approval of the plans after which tenders can be published and construction can begin. Scheduling the date for such sensitive plans has most likely happened with the explicit approval of both the Minister of Defense and the Prime Minister.
Construction in E1 will be a death blow to the prospects of a sustainable Palestinian state with a capital in East Jerusalem. It will also mean the uprooting of roughly 3,000 Palestinian living in small Bedouin communities in the area, the most well-known of which is Khan al-Akhmar.
Last year the deposit for objections of the two plans (along with tenders in Givat Hamatos) took place as part of the previous Israeli government's dramatic steps towards de-facto annexation. Now the new government which declared that it's policy would be different is continuing the same process.
The two E1 plans are for a total of 3,400 housing units on an area of over 2,100 dunams. Their construction will have far-reaching effects such as creating a contiguous, Israeli built-up area extending from Jerusalem through E1 to the Maale Adumim settlement - 11 kilometers beyond the Green Line. This will block the eastern connection of East Jerusalem to the West Bank as well as disconnect Ramallah and the north of the West Bank from Bethlehem and the south of the West Bank.
Objections to the two plans were submitted by numerous Palestinian communities and Israeli human-rights NGO's. Ir Amim - together with Peace Now and the Association of Environmental Justice in Israel, submitted their objection which was joined by six leading Israeli academics from the fields of planning and geography as well as over 2,000 Israeli citizens who added their signatures to the objection.