Infrastructures of Dispossession and Control Transport Development in East Jerusalem

Flash report | Jan 2021

This flash report focuses on five large scale transport infrastructure projects in East Jerusalem currently at various stages of development, and exposes the private corporations involved in their implementation. These projects are part and parcel of a broader Israeli strategy to promote the economic and spatial integration of the West Bank in terms of dispossession, segregation and control.

Transport infrastructure, which regulates not only space but the movement of people and goods across space, offers a powerful organizing instrument for an occupying power. Together with the Wall and the checkpoints, Israel’s transport network in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) works to manage and control both land and population in accordance with Israeli interests.

For Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise, infrastructure development provides a lifeline, enhancing settler connectivity, supporting economic development and normalizing Israeli presence on occupied land.

For the occupied Palestinian population, these infrastructure development projects are intimately tied to the processes of dispossession and facilitate land grabs. In this way transport projects are a means of annexing land, fragmenting and isolating communities and destroying agrarian livelihoods by separating farmers from their agricultural lands.

This flash report focuses on five large scale transport infrastructure projects in East Jerusalem currently at various stages of development, and exposes the private corporations involved in their implementation. All companies profiled herein were contacted prior to publication. To date, no responses have been received. The projects surveyed are: (1) the expansion of the Tunnel Road, a section of Route 60 south of Jerusalem; (2) the construction of the American Road, a north-south highway that cuts through East Jerusalem’s Palestinian neighborhoods; (3) the construction of an underpass and grade separation at the Qalandia checkpoint on the outskirts of Ramallah, north of Jerusalem; (4) the construction of grade separation in the French Hill settlement neighborhood and (5) the expansion of the Jerusalem Light Rail Network.

Our research shows that although the projects themselves are carried out by Jerusalem’s municipal development arm, the Moriah Jerusalem Development Corporation (hereafter: Moriah) and located largely within municipal lines, they target not only the settlement neighborhoods of illegally annexed East Jerusalem—but also the occupied West Bank as a whole. The transport projects examined in this publication are part and parcel of a broader Israeli strategy to promote the economic and spatial integration of the West Bank in terms of dispossession, segregation and control.





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