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West Bank - Palestinians Pitch Tents On Land Israel Plans For Settlers

Published on: January 11, 2013 07:51 AM
By: Reuters
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A Bedouin man (L) leaving what Palestinians call the new 'outpost settlement' of Bab al-Shams (Gate of the Sun), 11 January 2013, set-up outside the Palestinian West Bank village of Ez Za'im in the contentious area east of Jerusalem, in the West Bank known as E1, overlooking the sprawling Jewish settlement of Ma'ale Adumim, partially seen behind. EPA/JIM HOLLANDERA Bedouin man (L) leaving what Palestinians call the new ‘outpost settlement’ of Bab al-Shams (Gate of the Sun), 11 January 2013, set-up outside the Palestinian West Bank village of Ez Za’im in the contentious area east of Jerusalem, in the West Bank known as E1, overlooking the sprawling Jewish settlement of Ma’ale Adumim, partially seen behind. EPA/JIM HOLLANDER

West Bank - Palestinians from villages in the occupied West Bank near Jerusalem pitched tents on Friday on land Israel has earmarked for a new urban settlement, looking to preserve the area for an independent Palestinian state.

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Scores of Palestinians erected about 20 large, steel-framed tents on a windswept hillside in an area known as E1, a geographically sensitive area where Israel announced last month it would build homes for hundreds of settlers.

“We are setting up a Palestinian village here where people will stay permanently in order to protect this Palestinian land,” said Mohammad Khatib, one of the organizers of the tent village.

The tents were erected in an area close to established Palestinian villages that lie on slopes north-east of Jerusalem and overlook the descent to the Dead Sea.

Palestinians named their encampment “Bab el Shams”, which means “Gateway to the Sun” in Arabic.

“This is not a symbolic act, but comes in response to Israeli settlement building and we are sending a message to the international community that urgent action must be taken against Israel’s settlement construction,” Khatib said.

Although there was no immediate response from the Israeli authorities, police and soldiers in the past have moved quickly to shut down any such spontaneous Palestinian camps

International powers view all settlement building in areas captured by Israel in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War as detrimental to securing an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has come in for heavy criticism for a wave of recent announced settlement building in areas captured by Israel in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.

However, his pledge last November to build on E1 caused an especial outcry, with European diplomats warning that it could kill off any hope of creating a contiguous Palestinian state.

The site covers some 4.6 square miles (12 square km) 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.

Israeli building in E1 would create a linked-up stretch of Jewish neighborhoods in the West Bank between Pisgat Zeev on the outskirts of Jerusalem, and Maale Adumim, an urban settlement of some 30,000 Israelis.

For years Israel froze building in E1, which currently houses only a police headquarters, after coming under pressure from former U.S. President George W. Bush.

But Netanyahu announced a wave of settlement initiatives, including in E1, after the Palestinians won de-facto statehood recognition at the United Nations General Assembly last year.

Palestinians want to establish an independent state in the West Bank, which is partially controlled by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and the Gaza Strip, which is run by a rival faction, the Islamist group Hamas.

Approximately 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 continued settlement building.

 

 


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1

 Jan 11, 2013 at 08:04 AM Anonymous Says:

lets see the army go in and remove these people, like they did to all the jews in the past.

2

 Jan 11, 2013 at 08:09 AM Anonymous Says:

Palestinians are good at pitching tents on jewish land.

3

 Jan 11, 2013 at 08:22 AM monalisa Says:

@ #1 Bet they won't. THAT would cause an International Outcry. It's only good when they haul out their own. You can bet there'll be more of a tumult about tossing out a few manky Arabs than Assad butchering his own people in the thousands.

4

 Jan 11, 2013 at 08:38 AM Anonymous Says:

so where is our so called polical correct pro israel president Obama codeming this act of aggression to hinder the peace process...

5

 Jan 11, 2013 at 08:52 AM Anonymous Says:

Who paid for the tents? Follow the trail and I bet it was the EU and the Israeli leftists. Evict them.

6

 Jan 11, 2013 at 08:56 AM shredready Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

so where is our so called polical correct pro israel president Obama codeming this act of aggression to hinder the peace process...

maybe you did not read bush put pressure on Israel not to build. Also a president does not comment on every act by people. But when a government does something that is a different story

7

 Jan 11, 2013 at 10:56 AM Sherree Says:

It would be appropriate for Bibi to move them off, if he doesn't he loses political clout right before the elections.

8

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