News / Middle East

Israel Court Okays Removal of Palestinian Protest Tents

A Palestinian protester holds a flag as he arrives at an area known as 'E1', which connects the two parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank outside Arab suburbs of East Jerusalem, January 15, 2013.
A Palestinian protester holds a flag as he arrives at an area known as 'E1', which connects the two parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank outside Arab suburbs of East Jerusalem, January 15, 2013.
Reuters
Israel's Supreme Court gave the government the go-ahead on Wednesday to remove tents Palestinian activists pitched on a patch of West Bank land marked for Jewish settlements.
    
On Sunday, Israeli police evicted 50 Palestinian protesters from the site, in the "E1'' area outside the Arab suburbs of East Jerusalem, where Jewish settlements could split the Israeli-occupied West Bank in two.
    
But the activists' large, steel-framed tents remained standing in accordance with a court order banning the government from tearing them down while judges considered a Palestinian claim of ownership of land where the encampment was built.
    
The court's new ruling cancelled its previous order and agreed with the government's argument that the tents could be a magnet for violent Palestinian protests.
    
In its reasoning, released by the Justice Ministry, the court noted that clashes broke out at the encampment on Tuesday, when Israeli police, using stun grenades, blocked protesters who had returned to the site and tried to reoccupy the tents.
    
Palestinian officials condemned the high court ruling and the police actions against the protesters.
    
"This proves that there is no rule of law for Palestinians, only for Jewish Israelis,'' said prominent Palestinian politician Mustafa Barghouti, one of the original protesters at the tent camp dubbed "the village of Bab al-Shams'' by activists.

"Part of it is built on private land and part of it is on 'state land,' a concept that Israel has distorted, and it should rightly be Palestinian state land,'' he told Reuters.
    
Israel has drawn strong international criticism over plans to build settler homes in E1.
For years it froze building in E1, which houses only a police headquarters, after coming under pressure from former U.S. President George W. Bush to keep the plans on hold.
    
But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced plans late last year to expand settlements after the Palestinians won de-facto statehood recognition at the United Nations General Assembly in November.
    
Most countries view Jewish settlements in areas captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war as illegal and echo concerns voiced by Palestinians that building more settler homes could deny them a viable and contiguous state.

E1 covers some 12 square km (4.6 square miles) and is seen as particularly important because it not only juts into the narrow "waist'' of the West Bank, but also backs onto East Jerusalem, where Palestinians want to establish their capital.
    
About 500,000 Israelis and 2.5 million Palestinians live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down in 2010 over the issue of Israel's continued settlement building.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid