Spotlight on 'E1'
This project focuses geographically on the so-called ‘E1 area’ in the Jerusalem periphery, which takes its name from a unilateral Israeli plan to link the Ma`ale Adumim settlement to Jerusalem. The land in question falls east of the ‘Green Line’, which remains the current reference to distinguish Israel from Palestine in the international community: therefore, under international law, the ‘E1 area’ is occupied Palestinian territory, and not Israeli territory within its sovereign jurisdiction.
The ‘E1’ plan directly affects 18 Palestinian communities in the Jerusalem periphery and indirectly affects all 46 Bedouin communities in the central West Bank. The plan involves, ultimately, the forcible transfer of many of these Bedouin communities; moreover, the reality of repeated demolitions and the imposition of demolition orders against residential and essential community structures (such as WASH facilities, power generators, animal pens, etc) produces a coercive environment which disrupts their pastoral way of life and also leads to their displacement from the area.
Based on extensive desk and field research, the project team found that since 2009, the E1 plan has directly affected 2657 individuals and displaced 842 individuals; including 840 children from the Bedouin communities in the Jerusalem periphery. Local and International Human Rights NGOs including ARIJ, NRC, OCHA, Amnesty, and more documented repeated house and structure demolitions, land confiscation, destruction and confiscation of objects, and settler violence.
The E1 plan and sub-plans 420-4-7 and 420-4-10 contribute to the gradual de facto annexation of large portions of the West Bank; in particular, by expanding the Ma`ale Adumim settlement block, the West Bank would be bisected and the territorial integrity of Palestine would be irreversibly damaged. For these reasons, the ‘E1’ plans jeopardize the survival of many Bedouin communities in the area, putting them at risk of forced displacement and exacerbating their already dire humanitarian conditions and prospects for development. Related Israeli relocation plans targeting specific Bedouin communities would remove them from their current homes in Area C and transfer them into the heavily populated Areas A and B in the West Bank. This would undermine their pastoral and grazing needs and force them to relinquish their connection to nature leading to forced urbanisation, which has resulted in the regression of these communities’ lives as reported in the case of the Al-Jabal Bedouin community relocation plan.