Latest World News

Six Yazidi women liberated from the grip of “ISIS” were reunited with their families in northern Iraq


The Israeli government to discuss a settlement plan that splits the West Bank into two halves

Israel pushed to the table the most sensitive settlement construction plan in the West Bank, known as “E1”, a plan whose discussion has long been postponed several times, due to the strong opposition of the United States and the international community, to the huge project that will divide the West Bank into two halves and prevent any geographical contiguity. the desired Palestinian state.

The Central Planning Committee of the Israeli Civil Administration responsible for the West Bank set, in a meeting on Monday, to discuss the plan, which aims to link Jerusalem with the huge Ma’ale Adumim settlement in the central West Bank.

The Israeli Walla website said that the most politically sensitive project “aims to prevent the establishment of a contiguous Palestinian state in the future.”

The meeting will take place this time, despite being postponed several times due to US pressure and European countries’ opposition to the project, and to avoid a Palestinian reaction.

The United States, the United Nations, and the European Union have publicly rejected the project several times, calling it “destructive to the two-state solution.”

Palestinian workers conduct an examination at the entrance to the industrial zone near the Ma’ale Adumim settlement, east of Jerusalem, July 2020 (Getty Images)

The “E1” project is a huge settlement project that was approved in 1999. It includes about 12,000 dunams of the occupied West Bank, most of which are lands declared by Israel as “state lands.” These lands were annexed during the 1990s to the area of ​​influence of the Ma’aleh Adumim settlement, and since then have included about 48 thousand acres.

The project aims to connect Jerusalem with a number of Israeli settlements, through the confiscation of Palestinian lands and the establishment of new settlements in the area between East Jerusalem and the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim.

This will exacerbate the isolation of East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank, and create a continuous chain of illegal settlements extending from East Jerusalem to the Jordanian border, which will impede the geographical contiguity between the north and south of the West Bank, separating it completely, and thus making the possibility of establishing a Palestinian state impossible. .

A map published by the “Peace Now” organization showing the “E1” project in the middle of the West Bank

The authority views the project with great danger and has repeatedly threatened that it will take advanced steps, such as canceling agreements or withdrawing recognition of Israel, if it actually implements the project, which will also mean, among other things, control along the entire area that extends to the outskirts of the Jordan Valley.

An Israeli official said that the committee session aims to discuss the public’s objections to the building plan, and that it will not make any practical decisions at the present time in terms of building on the land.

But ending the file of objections means an important step to remove obstacles and open the way towards advancing construction in the region. Therefore, the United States opposes even such a meeting, and wants – according to Israeli sources – to “prevent the slightest progress in this plan, which it believes thwarts the two-state solution.”

The objections stage is the last stage in a series of steps before publishing construction tenders.

The outline of objections from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was deposited during his election campaign in 2020, but the upcoming session is the first since the inauguration of the current government.

Israeli forces secure the entrance to the Ma’ale Adumim settlement in the West Bank, following the February attack (Getty Images)

The Walla report said that the session may exacerbate tensions with the US administration at a time when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to improve his relations with the White House.

The Israeli “Peace Now” movement said, “The most extremist and dangerous government in the country’s history is destroying any chance for a better future.” And she considered that “after Homesh (the outpost that was decided to be rebuilt and legalized in the north of the West Bank), this government deals another slap in the face of our American friends, and continues to directly harm Israel’s security and political interests.”

She added, “All this is to satisfy the friends of (Minister of Finance and Defense Minister Bezalel) Smotrich. It seems that the annexation government continues to work according to a systematic plan that will drag us into the reality of apartheid.

This, and Netanyahu’s office refused to comment on the report.