Palestine Jan 2013 : G4S and the E1 settlement expansion

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January 11, 2013 - E1 stands for East-1, the area of the Israeli-occupied West Bank to the north-east of Jerusalem, to the west of the illegal settlement of Ma’ale Adumim. In 1994, Yitzhak Rabin unilaterally expanded the borders of Ma’ale Adumim, the third largest settlement in the West Bank, to include the E1 area. The development plans are illegal under international law.

In 2004, under the Sharon government, the Israeli Ministry of Construction began work on the infrastructure in E1. In 2006, the Ministry began building a new police station on the hill overlooking Route 1 in the valley below, and Ma’ale Adumim above it.

G4S Israel provided security equipment to the E1 police station, which is now the headquarters of the Judaea and Samaria Police Department. The police department, established as a result of the Oslo accords, cemented the existence of two distinct legal systems in the West Bank, Israeli civilian law for the settler population and military law for the Palestinian population (see Who Profits, The Case of G4S, pp22).

By providing services to this police station, situated on occupied territory, G4S, the largest security company in the world, has once again demonstrated a complete disregard for international law.

The company also provides equipment and services to Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank and Gaza, to Israeli prisons and businesses operating branches in Israeli settlements.

In November 2012, in response to the Palestinian Authority's successful bid for non-member observer status at the United Nations, Benjamin Netanyahu announced that the E1 expansion would go ahead.

The E1 area, empty save for the police station, covers roughly 12 square kilometres. If developed by Israel, it will further consolidate Israeli control of the area from Ma’ale Adumim, to the settlement industrial zone of Mishor Adumim and Kfar Adumim settlement.

This control will come at a cost to Jahalin Bedouin living inside and on the outskirts of the E1 area, who are being moved into areas comparable to reservations. The Jahalin were forced to leave their homes in the Naqab (Negev) due to the Israeli land grabs during the 1948 ethnic cleansing. The ethnic cleansing continues to this day. Many Jahalin have already been moved to an area near Abu Dis, next to the Jerusalem Municipal Rubbish Dump. The Israeli Civil Administration is now seeking new areas to move the Jahalin to, thereby removing one of the few obstacles to its goal of territorial contiguity between Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley.