Palestine: Virtual Field Visit E1

Palestine: Virtual Field Visit E1

 

 

Al-Haq, a Palestinian NGO based in Ramallah, has recently published a series of field visits showing the extent in which Israel continues to settle in Palestinian occupied territory.

al-haqThe occupation of territory as a result of the Six Day War in 1967 has been most detrimental for the future of Israeli-Palestinian relations. An important factor for a two-state solution has invariably been tied to the recognition of pre-1967 borders, something that today seems almost impossible given the increase of Israeli settlements.

While most scholars consider the Jewish encroachment a violation of international law, more specifically human rights law, there’s been little room for enforcement beyond naming and shaming.

Speaking of which, today’s post looks at a virtual field visit of Palestinian territory known as “E1″ put together by Palestinian NGO Al-Haq. The NGO is a Palestinian civil society organisation which documents breaches of international human rights and humanitarian law in the Palestinian territories.

A description of the E1 field visit taken from Al-Haq’s website reads:

The “E1” Virtual Field Visit is the latest in a series of virtual field visits produced by Al-Haq. Designed to bring the field to people who are unable to visit the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), the virtual field visits use maps to illustrate the obstacles and human rights abuses faced by Palestinians on a daily basis.

On 29 November 2012 the United Nations (UN) voted to upgrade the status of Palestine to non-member observer State. Shortly afterwards, Israel, who had vociferously objected to the upgrade, announced the construction of an additional 3,000 units for settlers in the West Bank. This included construction in what is known as the “E1” area, which refers to a twelve square kilometre plot of land located in the West Bank, to the east of the Jerusalem municipal boundary and bordering the Ma’ale Adumim settlement. The close proximity of the E1 area to Ma’ale Adumim settlement allows for significant expansion of what is already the third most popular settlement in the OPT.

The E1 area stretches across 22,000 dunums of confiscated Palestinian land and also provides a vital passage joining the northern and southern sections of the West Bank, as well as Jerusalem. The closure of this passage would effectively cut the West Bank into two. Construction in the E1 area, combined with restrictions imposed by the Annexation Wall and the Oslo Accords, creates a clear obstacle to a self-sufficient economically viable Palestinian State. 

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