*POST UPDATED BELOW* Israel's Ministry of Housing and Construction (run by Jewish Home MK Uri Ariel, who lives in a West Bank settlement) published tenders last week for 20,000 new settlements units, including a tender to build 1,200 units in the southern part of the highly controversial E-1 area, Haaretz (Hebrew) reported Tuesday. According to Haaretz's Chaim Levinson, the tenders call for construction in 23 settlements, the largest scope in the last decade, at a cost of NIS 50 million. Just minutes after the report came out, Haaretz followed up with the news that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the housing…Read More... | 8 Comments
Until its forcible eviction Saturday night, Palestinian activists built and maintained a new protest camp in E1 to protest Israeli occupation and settlement expansion, directing their message to visiting U.S. President Barack Obama. Photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler, Anne Paq, Yotam Ronen, and Oren Ziv As U.S. President Barack Obama's plane was landing at Ben Gurion Airport on Wednesday, Palestinian activists returned to the E1 area to establish yet another protest village in the tradition of Bab Al-Shams and other similar actions in recent months. Organizers named the new camp "Ahfad Younis" after the main character in the novel Bab Al-Shams ("Gate of the Sun") which…Read More... | 9 Comments
E1 should be a serious wake-up call for American policymakers, Michael Cohen argues below. If the controversial building project in the West Bank goes forward, he writes, it's time to start saying what everyone in Washington knows - the two-state solution will die and the U.S. risks supporting a future of apartheid. By Michael Cohen If there is one singular, yet frustratingly unattainable idea that has animated the Arab-Israeli peace process for the past two decades it is that of a two-state solution to the conflict – a Zionist and a Palestinian state living next to each other in peace…Read More... | 16 Comments
Israel is threatening to bisect the West Bank by building in the E1 area, between the settlement of Ma'aleh Adumim and Jerusalem. A photographic journey shot in medium format film - starting east of Jerusalem, through the west of the city and all the way to Tel Aviv - provides portraits of how different rights are extended to different people under Israeli rule. By Mareike Lauken and Keren Manor Our journey begins in Ma'aleh Adumim, one of 124 Israeli settlements established in the Occupied Palestinian Territories since 1967. With its green lush palm trees, olive tree roundabouts and parks,…Read More... | 14 Comments
Netanyahu didn't invent the E-1 dealbreaker that's got the world so mad at him; it goes back to Rabin and reflects overwhelming Israeli opinion. Except for right wingers, people look at the outrage over Bibi's revival of the E-1 plan, which would connect Jerusalem and the eastward Ma'aleh Adumim settlement with thousands of new homes, and say: Well, that's Bibi for you, picking fights for no good reason. Who needs more settlement construction? But if you ask them - "them" meaning all but the left-wing fringe among Israeli Jews and the country's supporters abroad - whether they're willing to give…Read More... | 39 Comments
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