Palestinians, activists evacuated from E1 tent city, despite injunction

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Israeli security forces for evacuating a Palestinian tent city set up in the controversial E1 area.

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“As soon as I was updated on the Palestinian gathering, I ordered its immediate evacuation and it was indeed carried out last night in the best possible manner, Netanyahu said at Sunday’s regular Cabinet meeting. “I would like to praise the Israel Police, with the support of the IDF, for its rapid and determined operation to evacuate the Palestinian gathering in the area between Jerusalem and Maale Adumim.”

About 100 Palestinians were evacuated late Saturday night from the outpost set up a day earlier on land that it says is necessary to form a Palestinian state. The Israeli government in November announced plans to approve construction of thousands of apartments for Jews in the area, in response to the Palestinians’ decision to appeal to the United Nations General Assembly for enhanced statehood status.

“We will not allow anyone to harm the contiguity between Jerusalem and Maale Adumim,” Netanyahu said Sunday.

The evacuation came late Saturday night despite Israel’s Supreme Court issuing a temporary injunction allowing the outpost to remain for six days while the issue is investigated.

The security forces removed the people, but not the tents, saying that met the court’s requirements, according to reports.

“An urgent evacuation is required due to a pressing security need,” the State told the court in a filing late Saturday.

The area was declared a closed military zone on Saturday and the roads to the area were blocked. Those protestors that refused to go willingly were carried out by Israeli soldiers. Some of the tent city residents included international activists.  

The activists called the outpost  Baab al Shams, which means “sunny gateway” in Arabic.


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