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 Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan

Ninety percent of world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan More

Here's Your Chance to Live in a Deserted Shopping Mall

About one-third of the 1200 enclosed malls in the US are dead or dying. Here's what's being done with them. More

Video NASA: Big Antarctica Ice Shelf Is Disintegrating

US space agency’s new study indicates Larsen B shelf could break up in just a few years More

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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs