JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli security forces evacuated about 100 Palestinians from a tent city set up in the controversial E-1 area, despite an injunction from the Israeli Supreme Court.
The evacuation came late Saturday night even though the court had granted a temporary injunction allowing the outpost to remain for six days while the issue was investigated. The outpost had been set up a day earlier in the area between Jerusalem and Maale Adumim on land the Palestinians say is necessary to form a state.
Israeli security forces removed the people but not the tents, saying that met the court’s requirements, according to reports.
The area was declared a closed military zone on Saturday and the roads to the area were blocked. Protesters that refused to go willingly were carried out by Israeli soldiers. Some of the tent city residents included international activists.
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.
On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Israeli security forces for evacuating the tent city
"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 the regular weekly 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. We will not allow anyone to harm the contiguity between Jerusalem and Maale Adumim."
In a filing to the court late Saturday, the state said, "An urgent evacuation is required due to a pressing security need."
The activists called the outpost Baab al Shams, which means "sunny gateway” in Arabic.