Israel advances plans for West Bank ‘sovereignty road’ to bypass E1 area

The Defense Ministry has green-lighted planning for what it called a “sovereignty road” that would allow Palestinian traffic to bypass Israeli settlements in the E1 area of the West Bank.

“We’re applying sovereignty in deeds, not words,” Defense Minister Naftali Bennett said on Monday, as he made a subtle dig at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for not having already annexed all of the West Bank settlements, including the area outside of Jerusalem where the road is located.

As part of his re-election campaign, Netanyahu last month agreed to advance plans for 3,500 new homes in an unbuilt area of the Ma’aleh Adumim settlement, known as E1.

To make the project tenable for area Palestinians, roads are needed that would allow them to bypass that area, so that they could have continuous travel between their communities.

The overall transportation project has been called the “fabric of life” road.