A plan to build a separate road “for Palestinians” connecting the northern and southern parts of the West Bank has been approved by Israel, Defense Minister Naftali Bennet announced on Monday.
The settlement plan, which was revived by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of the March 2 general elections, will enable the construction of 3,500 new settler homes in a controversial area of the occupied West Bank.
New bypass dubbed the "sovereignty road" [aka an apartheid road for israelis only] will enable israel to illegally annex Palestinian territory https://t.co/UBqA78aqfs
— Sarah Wilkinson (@swilkinsonbc) March 9, 2020
The plan, known as East 1 or E-1, will cut off the northern part of the West Bank from the southern party and pose as a major obstacle to the creation of a Palestinian state.
“We are giving a green light to the ‘Sovereignty Road’ today,” Bennet said.
The new road will connect the Palestinian neighborhoods of Anata, Ezzaim, Hizma and Ar-Ram, north of the Israeli settlement Maale Adumim.
Plans to build the new road are meant to make Route 1 “free” of Palestinians. Read Haaretz's daily editorial https://t.co/PRL4iAznRN
— Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) March 11, 2020
“It allows Palestinian vehicles to move without crossing inside the Maale Adumim bloc, near Jewish communities,” he said.
“The project will improve the quality of life of the residents of the area, prevent unnecessary friction with the Palestinian population, and most importantly – enable the continuation of building in the settlements. Imposing sovereignty in deeds, not in words. We will continue that way.”
The international community has warned repeatedly that Jewish settlement construction in the E1 corridor – which passes from Jerusalem to Jericho – would slice the West Bank in two and compromise the contiguity of a future Palestinian state.
— Andrea Kühne (@AndreaKhne1) February 23, 2020
A spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, described Netanyahu’s plan as another blow to the Palestinian hopes for an independent state.
“Netanyahu’s insistence on building thousands of settlement units is the systematic destruction of the two-state solution and the implementation of the Trump plan,” Abu Rudeineh said.
Under international law, all Jewish settlements are illegal colonies that have been established in flagrant violation of international law.
(Palestine Chronicle, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, Social Media)