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E1 Boomerang: Palestinians First Settlement

Breach, for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth—Leviticus 24:20



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When Netanyahu understood his mistake it was too late. He painfully watched how the boomerang that he had thrown at the State of Palestine was making a slow, smooth turn in the Jerusalemite cold air. On January 11, 2013, the boomerang hit Netanyahu, his government, and his people.

Following the UN decision to accept Palestine as an observer state on November 29, 2012, Netanyahu made several belligerent answers. One of them was to bisect the West Bank in an attempt to transform Palestine into a non-viable state. This was to be achieved by constructing 3,000 new buildings in a zone known as E1, located between Jerusalem and Ma'aleh Adumim (see map below). The article E1: Trashing Evil contains a detailed description of Netanyahu's mistake. The problem was that Benjamin Netanyahu took the decision without having visited the site. In the cold winters of Judæa, he favors his cozy office over the windy hills surrounding the city. That was a shame. After Netanyahu's rushed declaration, Jerusalem's mayor, Nir Barkat, rushed to the phone and told Netanyahu that Israel had placed a substantial waste dump in E1. The trash is blocking Israel's plan to bisect the West Bank; forcing a delay. Before the area can be built, the waste must be removed; the Israeli plan has been delayed.

Boomerang Hitting Thrower

Boomerangs - How To Make And Throw Them

E1 from the air

E1 from the air
You Can't Do That!: Ask not what your government SHOULD do, ask what your government is ALLOWED to do.

Just weeks before the upcoming elections, this nuisance put Netanyahu between a rock and a hard place. He couldn't admit his error, especially after his open disdain for the international outcry that followed his initial declaration. It became an issue of personal honor; nobody would rob his right to behave according to obsolete Jewish morals: Breach, for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth (Leviticus 24:20). A few days ago, on January 4, he surrendered. The area blueprints had been approved by the Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Since E1 is on the West Bank, it is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Defense's Civil Administration. However, the Prime Minister's Office then ordered not to file them with the zoning committee at this time, effectively halting the construction in a quiet way. State Control Committee Chairman MK Uri Ariel (from the right-wing party Habayit Hayehudi) was unyielding, "The halting of the E1 plans by the Prime Minister's Office proves that Netanyahu's statements regarding the settlements are only sleight-of-hand. A day after the elections we'll rediscover the true Netanyahu, the one who froze construction and succumbed to pressure," he declared.

Bab al-Shams Palestinian Settlement

Bab al-Shams Palestinian Settlement | E1, January 11, 2013

E1 Map

E1 Map
Jerusalem in bold letters at the left, Ma'aleh Adumim marked "A"
A Palestinian Christian Cry for Reconciliation

"Gate of the Sun"

During the early hours of January 11, 2013, in the wet and cold aftermath of the worst storm in a decade, 250 Palestinians entered E1 and erected 25 tents, the first Palestinian settlement. They named it "Bab al-Shams," namely "Gate of the Sun" in Arabic, after a novel about a Palestinian man who joined resistance movements in Lebanon. The method of operation resembled the one used by Jewish settlers. A town near Jerusalem is named "Beit Shemesh" ("House of the Sun," note the related word for "sun" in both languages). The Palestinian action was well planned, well coordinated, and touched the correct issues. Abdallah Abu Rahma, a Palestinian activist related to the event, told Hebrew media "Palestinians are no longer content with policies of occupation and settlement." Thus, after Netanyahu's announcement that E1 would be constructed, the residents of nearby villages in danger of having their lands frozen to accommodate settlement expansions, namely A-Tur, Isawiyah, Abu Dis, al-Eizariya, and Anata, decided to answer Israel's illegitimate initiative.

After criticizing Netanyahu's "policy of creating facts on the ground," the group declared in a formal statement "today, we are the ones creating facts on the ground, on our land." The statement began, "We, the sons and daughters of Palestine, declare the founding of the village 'Bab al-Shams,' by order of the people, without permission from the occupation, or any other body, because this land is ours, as is the right to build on it." Mr. Netanyahu, if you declare them illegal, then you cannot recognize Jewish settlements in the West Bank as legal. We are joyously waiting your decision.

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