A major Israeli settlement plan proposed for development east of Jerusalem that would block Palestinian development east of Jerusalem and close off the last remaining corridor between the city and West Bank Palestinian communities. Since the 1990s, the Israeli government has set out to develop this 12 sq km zone of unsettled lands originally belonging to Palestinian villages into a large industrial and commercial area, including the Israeli settlement Mevasseret Adumim, an airport, hotels, tourist attractions, and major roads. The plan, pursued by different Israeli administrations, has only been partially approved and completed due to international pressure. Mainly, an Israeli district police station was established in 2008.
The plan functions as part of the vision for “Greater Jerusalem,” which creates demographic, territorial, and transportational contiguity between Jewish settlements inside and outside the Israeli municipal boundary, while separating and suffocating Palestinian localities. The plan would solidify Israeli control over the corridor, linking the Ma‘ale Adumim settlement bloc to Israeli Jerusalem and the coastal city of Tel Aviv, while surrounding and isolating Palestinian villages in the eastern suburbs to whom the lands originally belong: a-Za‘ayim, al-‘Izariyya, Abu Dis, ‘Arab al-Jahalin, and ‘Anata. With Ma‘ale Adumim to their east and the Separation Wall to their west, these Palestinian localities are thus unable to grow. In addition, completion of the E1 plan would essentially break the occupied West Bank into two parts by blocking access between its southern and northern parts, as Jerusalem is mostly inaccessible to Palestinians with Palestinian Authority (PA) identity cards.