Harriet Sherwood falsely claims Israeli construction will cut E. Jerusalem off from West Bank

H/T Tamar

Harriet Sherwood’s Dec. 3 report, ‘UK summons Israeli ambassador over settlement plan’, repeats a disproven allegation concerning the alleged injurious impact to Palestinians of proposed Israeli construction near Jerusalem.

Sherwood writes the following:

“Britain is furious at Israel’s decision to take punitive measures, including the authorisation of the new homes and the development of land east of Jerusalem known as E1 for settlement construction.

The development of E1 has been frozen for years under pressure from the US and EU. Western diplomats regard it as a “game-changer” as its development would close off East Jerusalem – the future capital of Palestine – from the West Bank.” [emphasis added]

However, as CAMERA has demonstrated, the allegation that E-1 development would “close of East Jerusalem…from the West Bank” (also recently advanced by Ha’aretz and the NYT) is simply not true.

Here’s a map CAMERA used in their post highlighting the area in question.

e1 continguity

CAMERA explained, thus:

“The black X marks the approximate location of the new neighborhood near Ma’aleh Adumim. To the west of the X is Jerusalem. The red line surrounding the X is the planned route of the security barrier, which will encircle Ma’aleh Adumim and Jerusalem.

Those who charge that Israeli building in Ma’aleh Adumim severs north-south contiguity disregard the fact that Palestinian-controlled areas would be connected by land east of Ma’aleh Adumim (marked on the map) that is at its narrowest point ~15 km wide.

Moreover, Israel proposes to build tunnels or overpasses to obviate the need for Palestinians to detour to the east through the corridor.

Ironically, many of those who argue for greater contiguity between Palestinian areas, at the same time promote Israeli withdrawal to its pre-1967 boundaries, which (even with minor modifications) would confine Israel to a far less contiguous territory than that of the West Bank. As shown on the map above, there is a roughly 15 km wide strip of land separating the Green Line (and the Security Fence) from the Mediterranean Sea (near Herzliya). Also shown is the circuitous route necessary to travel via this corridor between northern and southern Israel. (e.g. from Arad to Beit Shean.)”

Finally, CAMERA added the following:

“Nor is it true that the construction would cut off Palestinian areas from Jerusalem. Access to Jerusalem through Abu Dis, Eizariya, Hizma and Anata is not prevented by the proposed neighborhood, nor would it be precluded by a string of neighborhoods connecting Ma’aleh Adumim to Jerusalem.” [emphasis added]

Please consider contacting the Guardian’s readers’ editor, Chris Elliott, to seek a correction to Sherwood’s false allegation.

reader@guardian.co.uk

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