The Orient House







12 July 2001 



Israel Prepares New Blitz of Settlement

Construction In Jerusalem


In line with the Israeli West Jerusalem Municipality drive to absorb Palestinian property and land, a new plan has been issued to re-activate the Eastern Gate Plan.  With the election of Sharon, the Eastern Gate Plan, originally approved during the Barak Administration, has gained new momentum with Israeli officials issuing a revised plan of the strategically important project. 


The project located northeast of Jerusalem at the junction of the Ma’aleh Adumim Road #9 and Route #13 near Shu’fat refugee camp, will require the demolition of a slaughter house, three houses, one building under construction and a storage facility belonging to Jerusalem Electric Company as well as the confiscation of Palestinian private property.  The total size of the project is 170 dunams including 160 housing units, business offices, a light industrial area and stations for the future Light Rail project that will connect the prospective settlement with West Jerusalem. 


Geo-politically, the Eastern Gate Project will physically connect the settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim with the Mt. Scopus and divide Arab East Jerusalem in half.  The project will also disable a key future Palestinian economic area and disable future development for Jerusalem.


The Orient House considers moves to build new settlements in Occupied East Jerusalem as provocative and contrary to current cease-fire initiatives. Such actions, including the current settlement construction on Jabal Abu Ghneim and Ras Al-Amud, demonstrate that Israel intends to prejudice the status of Jerusalem by creating facts on the ground and limiting Palestinian options for future negotiations.  The Orient House demands that the international community stop Israeli settlement construction immediately before all prospects for a shared Jerusalem are eliminated.  





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