Thursday, December 27, 2012

Planning E-1

A few weeks ago Danny Seidemann of Terrestrial Jerusalem asked us, via Twitter, if we could find documentation of the origin of the E-1 moniker. (Had he asked privately, via e-mail, say, I wouldn't be naming him.)

The answer is, no, not yet. But since it is an interesting question, one of our staff started poking around, and has come across some interesting files. Here's one from 1981 (file גל-15482/11 ) which is interesting on a number of  levels.

First, the document itself is a report, or more accurately, a brief summary of findings of a firm of private architects, Litersdorff-Goldenberg Urban Planners, in Tel Aviv. It became an official document when it was submitted to the Ministry of Construction and Housing on March 8, 1981. The file itself comes from the Department of Programs in the Jerusalem Regional Office of the ministry. Take a look at the document itself and you'll see that some official in the ministry added hand-written comments, so we can see the professional planners and the government official responding to their findings.

The title of the document is "Identifying areas for potential urban development north of Jerusalem: localities for further investigation." Essentially, the private professionals are informing the officials where it might be possible to build settlements. They list 12 areas: E1-6 to the north east of Jerusalem, and W1-6 to the north west. They don't trouble themselves with the question of the origin of the numbering or geographical location, which they accept as a given; their task is to say what the potential of each section is.

So we know that E-1 (and all the others) were working definitions before March 1981.

About E-1 they had this to say:
Location: East of Issawiya
Total area: 6,200 dunam
Uses and ownership: 15% inside Jerusalem's city line, 30% known ownership, 15% agricultural use, 40% empty rocky terrain - about 2,500 dunam.
Ability to start work: High.
To which the official with the handwriting added a geographical description: down the slope from French Hill and up to the next hill.
He (she?) underlined the point about the 40%.
Recommendation: to begin taking the area.

In 1981, someone thought construction in E-1 was going to happen soon.

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