A green energy project that is being promoted by the Israeli government as the “gold standard” in the construction of the Green Line will ultimately be a nightmare for the Palestinians.
This is a project that could cost as much as $50 billion and would entail building a tunnel under the Green Area, the West Bank, and Gaza.
This tunnel would be dug under the Jordan Valley, which is located just south of Jerusalem and borders the Palestinian enclave of the Golan Heights.
In addition, it would pass under the so-called Green Line, the land that divides the West and East Jerusalem.
The project, called the Erez Crossing, has been promoted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, and it has been touted by the Prime Minister as a model for the entire West Bank.
However, the project has faced several obstacles.
In March, Israeli authorities shut down the Erevis tunnel that was under construction, which would connect the West Wall to Jerusalem.
Construction has been suspended since then, with the Palestinian Authority and Israel holding a series of discussions about the construction.
In November, Israeli officials halted construction of a second tunnel under Mount Carmel, located north of Jerusalem, and began construction of another tunnel under Maale Adumim, located south of the West.
The first tunnel was closed after Palestinian activists claimed that it was being built in order to serve as a “military headquarters” for Israel.
In December, the Israel Police began excavating a site on the border that has been occupied since 1967, the E-1 area, and that Palestinians claim is home to the graves of the 1,000 settlers killed in 1967.
The Israeli military is also preparing to construct the first tunnel under Jerusalem, which will be connected to the Erekat Crossing by a series (six) tunnels, according to Palestinian officials.
In June, Israel announced that it would begin the construction and dismantling of the Erakat Crossing, with a planned completion date of August 2019.
While the project is under discussion, the Palestinians are not optimistic.
“It will be a complete failure,” Abu Khdeir, a spokesman for the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s (PLO) High Negotiations Committee (HNC), told Al Jazeera.
“The whole thing is completely pointless.”
In a recent speech, Khdeirs cousin, Ahmed Abu Khdaer, said that Israel should “go and do the Erebos Crossing instead of Erez.”
He added that the Palestinians would be “fortunate to see a political solution” to the conflict.
“We would not have this problem if we were in control of the situation,” he said.
The Palestinians, however, have been hesitant to commit to such a drastic move.
“Our people are afraid of it,” Khdeer said.
“In the past, the Israelis would talk about doing the Eres and we would say, ‘No, we won’t do it, because we will not make peace with the Palestinians.'”
The Palestinians have said that they are committed to the Green line, but they have not committed to building it.
“This is the most important project that will bring peace and prosperity to the Palestinian people,” Khdaers cousin, Abu Qassim, told Al Jazeerah.
“If the Israelis start building this tunnel under Erekayim, the entire area will be occupied.
We are the only people who can solve this problem.”
In recent weeks, the Israeli Army has been involved in fighting Palestinians in the West Quds area, the Gaza Strip, and east Jerusalem.
Since September, it has demolished more than 20 homes in the Quds, in addition to the seven houses demolished in the first week of December.
The bulldozers have also demolished homes in Jerusalem, East Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh, the Gush Etzion bloc, and in the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Ramallah and Nablus.
This has raised the prospect of a new round of fighting between the Palestinians and the Israeli military.
In the past three months, more than 1,200 Palestinians have been killed and nearly 1,400 injured in clashes with the Israeli army.
“For the first time, the army is being used to fight the Palestinians,” Khduer said, “even though they have committed no crimes.”
In the wake of the ongoing conflict, there has been growing concern about the fate of the Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank and East Gaza.
On Sunday, the US state department issued a report on the conflict that said the US had assessed that “Israeli settlement activity and policies are causing severe humanitarian and security risks, including through their impacts on the livelihoods of Palestinians.”
The report also found that the “Israeli government is complicit in exacerbating the humanitarian crisis by maintaining its policy of dispossession, eviction, and restrictions of Palestinian rights and livelihoods.”
In addition to its “dispossession, evictions, restrictions of livelihoods, and violations of international humanitarian law, the government of Israel continues to engage in