Friends of Bethlehem on Facebook
Many of you may have just heard the news that the Prime Minister of Israel has announced plans for 1000 new homes to be build in Occupied East Jerusalem. This follows a series of announcements relating to expansion of Israeli settlements within Occupied Palestine, including E1 and E2.
Combatants for Peace is asking for those who seek for peace for the people of Palestine and Israel to sign the following petition, concerning the E2 settlement plan south west of Bethlehem. The petition is supported by Americans for Peace Now.
[PLEASE SIGN PETITION!]
In the 1,700 dunam area, E2, beside the Palestinian village of Nahla [Khalat al Nahla 1,2,3] near Bethlehem, the State of Israel is stealing Palestinian farmers’ private lands in order to turn them over to settlers. On these lands an enormous settlement is being planned, which will block Bethlehem from the South and will hurt any chance for peace between the peoples.
We, Palestinians and Israelis who desire peace, and our supporters in the international community, ask the European Union and the European Commission to demand that Israel nullify its declaration of E2 as “State Lands”, so that the lands would revert to their rightful Palestinian owners.
We ask the European Union and the European Commission to notify the State of Israel that any settlement activity in E2 is totally unacceptable, and would have severe implications.
Image: Satellite image of E 2, (Red marker = E2, Blue line = Annexation wall, Blue area = Israeli settlements, Red area = Illegal settlements (under even Israeli law)) (Source: Americans for Peace Now Map: Facts on the Ground, Text: S. Mills)
EU is looking for new ways to stop Israeli settlements
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 12:55
The New Settlement in E2 (Nahla) – A Significant Threat to the Two States Solution
Update on E2 – September ?2014
Prepared by Peace Now, Kerem Navot, and Combatants for Peace
At the present time, preparations are moving ahead for establishing a new settlement near the Palestinian village of Nahla (south of Bethlehem and east of the settlement Efrat). Establishing this settlement would bisect the West Bank and seriously damage the chance for a two-states solution (as would the plan to expand Maaleh Adumim westward to area “E1”, east of Jerusalem), and for this reason we call this plan E2. The plan is for 2,500 housing units on an area of about 1,700 dunams (i.e.170 hectares or 425 acres).
In 2004 Israel declared most of E2 as “State Lands” and incorporated it into the municipal jurisdiction of the Efrat settlement. The Palestinian landowners appealed against this declaration, and the High Court of Justice (HCJ 2676/09) is expected soon to reject the appeal. At that time, Israel will be able to begin the actual process of building the settlement.
In the meantime, since October 2013, Israel has allowed settlers to use part of area E2 under the guise of an “agricultural farm”, but the Ministry of Housing under the settler-minister Uri Ariel is already preparing plans to replace the “farm” with a first stage of 840 building units.
It should be noted that area E2 is located totally east of the separation fence (i.e. outside the area that Israel defines as “settlement blocs”), and establishing a new settlement in this place would violate the Israeli commitment to build no new settlements. The settlement would block Bethlehem from the south, and prevent any development in the only direction that has not yet been blocked by settlements or bypass roads (that were paved principally for Israeli settlers). The planned building in area E2 would likely finalize the cutting off of Bethlehem city from the southern West Bank, delivering a crushing blow to the Two States solution.
E1 planned settlement of Jerusalem, West Bank
Image: E1 – Planned settlement east of Jerusalem, West Bank (Source: BBC)
Netanyahu Expedites Plan for 1,000 New Homes in East Jerusalem
By ISABEL KERSHNER and JODI RUDORENOCT. 27, 2014
JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Monday that Israel would fast-track planning for more 1,060 new apartments in populous Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, a move that appears calibrated to appeal to the maximum number of Israelis while causing the minimum damage to Israel internationally, according to Israeli analysts…