News / Middle East

    Israel Vows to Build in West Bank Site After Evicting Protesters

    Israeli border police remove a Palestinian from an outpost of tents in an area known as E1, near Jerusalem, January 13, 2013.
    Israeli border police remove a Palestinian from an outpost of tents in an area known as E1, near Jerusalem, January 13, 2013.
    Robert Berger
    Israel's prime minister has vowed to move ahead with settlement building in a Palestinian-claimed area near Jerusalem, after Israeli security forces evicted more than 100 Palestinian protesters from the site.

    In an interview Sunday on Israeli radio, Benjamin Netanyahu said "there will construction" in the disputed E-1 zone between Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem and the major West Bank Jewish settlement of Maaleh Adumim.  But he said it will take time for Israel to complete the planning process for 3,000 housing units.

    Israeli security personnel entered the zone before dawn Sunday and quickly removed dozens of Palestinians who had set up tents Friday to protest the proposed settlement project.  The protesters resisted passively and there were no serious injuries.

    Conflicting claims

    Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (2nd R) attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, January 13, 2013.Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (2nd R) attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, January 13, 2013.
    x
    Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (2nd R) attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, January 13, 2013.
    Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (2nd R) attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, January 13, 2013.
    Netanyahu told a Cabinet meeting he ordered the eviction to prevent anyone from harming what he called Israel's claim to territorial "contiguity" between Jerusalem and Maaleh Adumim.

    Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state they say should include all of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, including E-1.

    One activist told Israel Radio the Palestinian struggle against the planned settlement will continue.  "We came here to stay here," he said.  "We are Palestinian families, we own this land and we want to use it.  We want to build over it, we want to plant it, we want our children to use it."

    Another Palestinian man vowed to return, saying, "I will stay at long as it takes.  And then I can build a house here and I can stay here."

    The protesters obtained an Israeli Supreme Court injunction on Friday, preventing Israeli authorities from removing their tent camp in E-1.  The Israeli government later declared the site a closed military zone and said the court ruling did not block the removal of the protesters. 

    Strategic zone

    Palestinians say the proposed E-1 settlement's location at the center of the West Bank would make it impossible for them to form a state with viable borders and would block Arab access to East Jerusalem.  Much of the international community also has criticized the Israeli plan, calling it an obstacle to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    Israeli supporters of E-1 say it would not obstruct an independent Palestine's connection to Jerusalem through Arab districts such as Abu Dis.  They also say it would not prevent the northern and southern parts of the West Bank from being connected by a corridor at least 15 kilometers wide - about the same as Israel's narrowest waistline between the Mediterranean coast and the West Bank. 

    Michael Lipin contributed to this report from Washington.

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 4
        Next 
    by: Aurora from: Montana
    January 14, 2013 9:40 PM
    @ david lulas

    The Golan Heights area is already inhabited by the Druze. It is part of the area of their homeland.

    by: david lulasa from: tambua,hamisi,vihiga,keny
    January 14, 2013 3:42 AM
    to be good for something,palestine neighbours,inparticular jordan,will have to donate land to palestinians...instead of always inciting palestinians against israelis..if not,then golan heights should be the one being given to palestinians.


    by: Josh Glahn from: USA
    January 13, 2013 9:02 PM
    Although Robert Berger has put a valiant effort into presenting this occurrence impartially, his failure to provide reasons for Israel’s actions is decidedly biased. Presenting only that the Israeli army disregarded the Supreme Court’s ruling ignores the fact that the Executive Branch has every right to evacuate the E1 for security purposes. The sparsely populated 12 miles between the Maale Adumim and Jerusalem poses a major threat to the 40,000 Israelis in the West Bank. This “encroachment” has the potential to save lives, where the only Palestinian objections are that one day there might be a city there. The whole land issue aside, Israel’s removing the Palestinian protesters from the construction sight was completely nonviolent. Compared to American policemen who pepper sprayed hundreds of nonviolent college students, the Palestinians’ treatment was exceedingly civil. Taking a wider perspective, the fact that Israel has the need for new development is indicative of its expanding economy and infrastructure that benefits and creates jobs for both sides of the conflict.

    by: Pete from: Czech Republic
    January 13, 2013 7:42 PM
    Well, palestinians shouldn't start the war... They should be grateful for what they have and learn how to behave.. they did it themselves and their mad believe!

    by: david from: ireland
    January 13, 2013 6:37 PM
    just goes to netenyahoo is a dictator

    by: Chsp943 from: Home
    January 13, 2013 6:36 PM
    So our next war will be for the Jewish people also?

    by: Scott from: USA
    January 13, 2013 6:14 PM
    The current Israel Government is doing everything wrong, they are not even trying to seek Peace but only Conflict and War, The World is changing it mind on Israel, If the Arabs go to war with Israel, Yes there will be some token of support, but not what they expect or want, Israel has very little time left, but not as much as they think for some Major changes to be made, Yes the spoiled bully is going to get kicked around. and it might be the best thing to happen, As a American View Point Israel is in Violation of the United Nation Repeatedly, that is strike one. Strike two China and Russia could very well tell us to back off and we would have to listen to china no one else is buying our notes, Strike three we been at war for over 10 years we have had enough and we have pressing bills to pay and we no longer have the funds to just go to war for the fun of it or support someone who is not seeking Peace.

    by: Lenox from: London
    January 13, 2013 5:58 PM
    I find it absolutely shocking that Israel is allowed to occupy Palestinian land, while the world turn a blind eye, it is an utter disgrace, and surely should not be allow to continue.

    by: Davdon
    January 13, 2013 5:43 PM
    More shame on the rogue state of Israel
    They seem to have as much respect for domestic Law in evicting these peaceful protesters as they have for
    International law

    by: AF from: Chicago
    January 13, 2013 5:39 PM
    Why does the United States continue to do nothing more than say "Now, now, you really shouldn't" about settlements? If it reduced aid to Israel by an amount proportionate to new settlements and refusal to abandon existing settlements, that would carry a stronger message and actual consequences.

    Seizing land by force and then settling on it is illegal according to international law. It is the equivalent of the United States deciding to "solve drug crime" by unilaterally invading Mexico, seizing lands on its borders, handing the land over to Americans who want to build on it, and then committing systemtic human rights violations on the Mexicans who remain in that land.
    Comments page of 4
        Next 

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.