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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 4
 Previous   Next 
by: Push them all out from: Seattle
January 13, 2013 5:37 PM
I'm so tired of the all these militant islamists. They can all go rot in the Sinai desert. Israel should take back ALL of it's land from the West Bank _and_ the Gaza Strip. Push them OUT.

France has the right idea in Mali, just bring the jets and level their bases.

by: mick from: england
January 13, 2013 5:27 PM
Israel have no right to do this at all. It's like you inviting me into you home and me slowly taking over an kicking you out. What was Palestine is now nearly all Israel. It's disgusting, and were all following them in the western world. It's not fair!

by: mrmoloc from: stuck in hell
January 13, 2013 5:15 PM
What Israel views and does towards its Arab neighbors is ultimately disgusting. The way the Jewish society in the middle east see them selves as Gods chosen people is a disgrace to humanity as a whole. No one will be seeing anything of Gods favors as we as a species are lost in our own greed, set apart by the claimed rights of one man over another. May God punish us all for the fact we cannot live in peace together to build a better future for our children.

by: Patrickhughes78
January 13, 2013 5:06 PM
How can Jewish citizens allow there leader to overturn court rulings on a whim? This is not democratic process and illustrates the truth; that the Zionist movement is a bunch of foreigners occupying land illegally, using violence to insure their position. All this made possible by America and the UK, the greatest colonialist of all time. Netanyahu is securing only that the nation of Israel will always be contested worldwide.

by: Phil from: UK
January 13, 2013 5:04 PM
Israel is effectively committing suicide by alienating almost every civilised nation who have traditionally supported them. Hopefully the US will see that Israel's behaviour in building more settlements is adding fuel to the fire that will backfire in its own face. Come on Obama - pull the rug from under them and let them known you mean business.

by: Viiit from: Seattle
January 13, 2013 4:49 PM
Brave Israel!
Don't bow down to Muslim demands.

And as for the Arab population of the "West-Bank", their living standard improved 8 fold since Israel liberated that area from Jordanian occupation.


by: Michael from: Miami
January 13, 2013 4:25 PM
No matter what your feelings or beliefs regarding who has the right to this particular piece of land, the thing that struck me about this incident was the executive branch of government over ruling a Supreme Court injunction (and using the military as the excuse, no less). A troubling precedent for any democracy.

by: Walsingham from: Auckland, New Zealand
January 13, 2013 3:58 PM
Northern Ireland analogy a good one. Britain will never tolerate a hostile regime that close. Israel will not tolerate the same.

Armies of occupation of necessity are policemen, something they are not trained for. Raising Palestinian standards particularly employment one solution. Another is health and education care paid for by the Arab League? In multiple ways the Palestinians are the pawns in not only Israeli but Arab politics.

by: Izak Friend from: USA
January 13, 2013 3:52 PM
Arab nationalists aren't hostile to Israel because Israel builds here or there. Arab nationalists are hostile to Israel, because they require that Arab Lands be inhabited exclusively by those in possession of Pure Arab Race Blood. As all of Israel is within their declared Arab Lands, the Jews must "go away." It is not within the Arab nationalist imagination, that their enemies might do the same to them.

Netanyahu is not an Arab nationalist, does not follow their script. Injustice!

by: Ronald G, Kirchem from: Los Altos, CA
January 13, 2013 2:29 PM
The Israelis continue to steal the Palestinians' land, and nobody does anything at all about it, mostly because the US government, which keeps Israel afloat, is controlled by the Zionists. The right-wingers are always crying about their fears of a tyrannical government, but any elected official who criticizes Israel in the US will be hounded from public office. Look what is happening to Chuck Hagel. Whatever happened to American democracy? When did we cede control over our foreign and military policy to Israel? It is time for Americans to wake up and stand up to the Zionist thugs.
Comments page of 4
 Previous   Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs