We marked the outposts - the Jewish settlements - on the map. That's all. When you look at the map you understand it's no coincidence. You can see that there is an effort being made to position Jewish settlements on a belt encircling the Old City. This isn't happening by chance. If we begin at the Old City, adjacent is Ir David, actually it's a part of Silwan but we'll call it Ir David at present; most of the lands there are already owned by settlers. Their website proudly proclaims that 50% of Ir David is already in the hands of the Elad Foundation. The intent is to raze an entire area directly below Ir David in order to create a national park and begin an archeological dig.
We are experienced from the instance of Kdumim
in how these sites start out as archeological digs and wind up as settlements. Above the City of David there's Moskowitz's
compound and the Mount of Olives,
called the "Olive Ascent", where there are 120 almost fully populated housing units. In a straight line from there is the [Jewish] settlement in Abu Dis called "Kidmat Zion". Moskowitz is behind that, too; the project has been frozen but it's merely a matter of time before it goes ahead. Meanwhile, settlers live in a few Arab houses that have been purchased in a very shady manner, that's a whole other issue. Continuing from Kidmat Zion and Abu Dis, it connects with E1 and Ma'ale Adumim. It's simply one line, a single path.
The same attempts are being made north of the Old City [of Jerusalem]. In the Jeikh Jarrach neighborhood there is a [Jewish] settlement called Shimon HaTzadik, which is between Beit Orot Yeshiva
and the Border Police's Central Command, The Israel Police's Central Command, the Ministry of Housing, connecting to the [Hebrew] University on Mount Scopus, which even unintentionally is a part of that idea. From Mount Scopus you have the new tunnel leading to Ma'ale Adumim. There are two lines that cross northeast and southeast Jerusalem.
First of all, the belt severs the continuity of East Jerusalem. Second, it encircles the Old City from all sides so that if, or rather when, a Palestinian state is established, its capital - Jerusalem - will be cut off from the hinterland, from the neighboring cities. Imagine how a state capital is meant to function if travel from Ramallah to Jerusalem entails crossing a series of Jewish outposts? It's all there in order to prevent any chance of a just solution to the conflict. It's a dangerous situation because of the proximity to the Temple Mount-- and not only because of the political implications. Aerially, Al-Bustan is a mere 100 meters from Al-Aqsa. That's such a sensitive issue nowadays that it could potentially transcend Israel's borders. Remember how when former Mayor of Jerusalem Olmert opened the Kotel [Western Wall] Tunnel, 14 Israelis and 30 Palestinians were killed in three or four days of fighting?
That's what could happen here, but on a much larger scale.
We've been working on this project jointly not only with Palestinian organizations but with other Israeli organizations and with international sources. This is a classic case: we approached European consuls, but the Americans were the ones who took the main action. We have proven beyond a doubt that the project would mortally wound the Road Map. We really didn't have to make an effort; they immediately understood what was taking place. I know the State Department is working towards terminating or freezing the project.