Brit Tzedek Welcomes Rice’s Call for Clarification on E-1 Plans

Brit Tzedek v'Shalom welcomed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's call for the Israeli government to clarify its plans to expropriate a significant swath of Palestinian land in the West Bank, known as the E-1 region. The group also asked Secretary Rice to urge the Israeli government to take no further steps in developing the E-1 region, which would prejudge the outcome of the final-status negotiations.

In a statement today, Brit Tzedek's president and former Knesset member Marcia Freedman, said:

"Brit Tzedek v'Shalom commends Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for requesting clarification about Israel's planned expropriation of Palestinian lands from villages located between East Jerusalem and the West Bank settlement of Maale Adumim.  The land is slated to be used to build a road between Jericho and East Jerusalem, in order to "free up" land for long-planned construction of a massive Israeli residential area and industrial park between Jerusalem and Maale Adumim.

The US has long opposed this plan for the development of the so-called E-1 region of the West Bank because it would cut the West Bank in two and sever East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank.  Such plans would isolate the nearly 250,000 Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem and cut off access to the only major metropolitan center for the 2 million residents of the West Bank.  It is the long-held policy of the United States that neither party should take actions that would prejudge the outcome of final-status negotiations.

The E-1 development plan was first revealed in 2004 and was frozen, mainly due to US opposition to it. The fact that the Israeli Ministry of Defense under Minister Ehud Barak has taken this step just as the entire international community is concentrating its attention on the upcoming Annapolis peace conference is particularly disturbing. This is a moment for conciliatory gestures, not additional land grabs. We hope that Secretary Rice can convince Israel to put the E-1 plan back in the deep freeze and rescind the IDF's land expropriation orders."



References:

US grills Israel over road planned on Palestinian land. Haaretz. Oct. 16, 2007.

IDF orders the expropriation of Arab land near East Jerusalem. by Akiva Eldar. Haaretz. Oct. 14, 2007.

AFTP Expresses Deep Concern about Proposed New Jerusalem Road. American Task Force on Palestine. Oct. 12, 2007.

What is E-1?. Ir Amim: For an Equitable and Stable Jerusalem with an Agreed Political Future.

Settlements in Focus: Vol. 1, Issue 1- E-1 & Ma’ale Adumim. Americans for Peace Now. May 13, 2005.

Map Title: E1 Development Plan and Environs. Foundation for Middle East Peace. 1998.


Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, The Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace
11 E. Adams Street, Suite 707
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: (312) 341-1205
Fax: (312) 341-1206

info@btvshalom.org
www.btvshalom.org


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