Israel evicts Palestinian protesters from West Bank
West Bank: Over a hundred Palestinians protesting against a planned Israeli settlement were evicted early Sunday morning from an outpost of tents in a strategic area of occupied West Bank, Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
No arrests were made during the half hour operation and that no injuries were sustained on either side, said the spokesperson Rosenfeld.
He said the tents were not dismantled and that a decision on that would be made later in the day.
The Palestinians had pitched over 20 tents at an area called E-1 where Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has planned settlement after the UN recognized a de facto state of Palestine in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem in November.
Israeli Supreme Court on Friday ruled that the outpost of Palestinians could remain there for six days while the issue of the removal of the tents was being discussed.
Palestinians say E-1 would be a major blow to their statehood aspirations as it blocks east Jerusalem from its West Bank hinterland. Palestinians are demanding these areas, along with Gaza, for their future state.
Activists said they want to build a village called Bab Al Shams at the site.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday evening ordered roads closed leading to the area and had the military declare a closed military zone and shut off access. Netanyahu's office said that the state was petitioning the Supreme Court to rescind an earlier injunction blocking the evacuation.
Israeli officials have said actual construction on the project may be years away if it ever gets off the ground, while Israeli critics have questioned whether Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu actually intends to develop E-1, or is pandering to hard-liners ahead of Israel's Jan. 22 election.