The Orient House







14 May 2001 



Israel to Use Ring Road to Separate

Jerusalem from the Palestinian Territories


In the past week, the Israeli Government under Ariel Sharon has taken a series of decisions to create facts on the ground to prejudice the political status of Jerusalem.  These measures include a progressive tightening of the military closure around Jerusalem, the approval to build new settlements and to continue to build the eastern ring road around Jerusalem.


Yesterday the Israeli cabinet committee on Jerusalem affairs re-affirmed a decision taken under the tenure of Ehud Barak to continue to build an eastern ring road around occupied East Jerusalem.  The Israeli Government has already confiscated 648 dunums of Palestinian property and demolished nearly 10 Palestinian houses to make room for the Jerusalem ring road.  According to the Israeli Municipality, some 20 to 30 additional houses will need to be demolished to complete the 15.5 km. road.


The Orient House considers the building ring road as an attempt by Israeli to sever Arab East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank and to connect Israeli settlements in a ring around the city.  While a modified Jerusalem ring road has the potential to facilitate economic development in Arab East Jerusalem and the West Bank, Israel is currently using the ring road to physically cut off East Jerusalem and to stifle Palestinian economic development in the city.


The Orient House believes these latest Israeli measures give further evidence that Israel is no longer interested in negotiating Jerusalem but in establishing facts on the ground.  These measures undermine confidence and are destabilizing the region.





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