Terminology in the Jerusalem context can be complex and also controversial. Words and their meanings shape narratives. Our Lexicon goes beyond standard definitions and also offers, where applicable, nuanced shades of meanings that matter to Palestinian Jerusalemites.

E1 Development Plan

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.

East Jerusalem

Refers to the region encompassing the Old City of Jerusalem and its eastern suburbs and hinterlands. The term was used to distinguish between this part of the city, which Israel occupied in June of 1967, and the western part, which Israel occupied and emptied of its Palestinian inhabitants in 1948. Shortly after occupation, Israel unilaterally expanded the borders of East Jerusalem, tripling it in size and adding 28 Palestinian villages, and then unilaterally extended its law, jurisdiction, and administration to the newly expanded area. International law and most countries of the world do not recognize this unilateral act as legal and consider that East Jerusalem remains under military occupation. Palestinians also consider that Israel is not the rightful sovereign over East Jerusalem and consider it as the capital for a future Palestinian state. The reality today, however, is that both West and East Jerusalem are controlled by the Israeli government and are mostly under the jurisdiction of the Israeli Jerusalem municipality. Since 1967, the government has also invested considerable effort and resources into changing the demographic makeup of East Jerusalem by funding and facilitating Jewish settlement there.