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About This GigapanToggle
- Taken by
- Palestine Panoramics
- Explore score
- 0.06 Gigapixels
- Date added
- Jul 21, 2009
- Date taken
- Apr 10, 2009
The vast Ma'ale Adumim Israeli Settlement extends across the entire width of this photo. It includes housing for more than 40,000 Israelis, shopping centers, utility and sports facilities. It was built on the land of the Palestinian village of Abu Dis beginning in 1975, shortly after Israel militarily occupied the Palestinian West Bank.
In March 2005, a report by John Dugard for the United Nations Commission on Human Rights stated that the "three major settlement blocs - Gush Etzion, Ma'ale Adumim and Ariel - will effectively divide Palestinian territory into cantons or Bantustans."
To understand the UN statement, look at a map and you'll see how Ma'ale Adumim's strategic location cuts off Palestinian east-west access to and from Jerusalem, and north-south access throughout the West Bank.
All Israeli settlements, including Ma'ale Adumim, are illegal under international law. Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states: "The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies."
Illegal Israeli construction in Ma'ale Adumim continues to date, including to the east of the settlement, in an area known as 07, where apartment blocks are being built to accommodate an additional 3,500 people, despite international pressure on Israel.
To the north of Ma'ale Adumim, in an area called E1, Israel is proceeding with its plans for one of the most contentious building projects in the West Bank.
Israeli governments have promoted settlement by various means, including helping to fund construction and providing financial incentives such as tax breaks and preferential loan terms to settlers.