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Netanyahu Tells Israeli Army to Remove Palestinian Protest Tents

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli prime minister speaks at a press conference at the defense ministry in Tel Aviv, Israel November 14, 2012. Photographer: Kobi Gideon/GPO via Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the army to remove a tent camp set up by Palestinians yesterday in an area of the West Bank known as E-1 just east of Jerusalem.

The government asked the High Court of Justice to cancel a stay of evacuation it issued yesterday in response to a petition by protest supporters, according to a text message sent by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Netanyahu ordered that in the meantime the area be declared a “closed military zone” and sealed off to prevent further gatherings there, according to the message.

An Israeli decision on Nov. 30 to issue preliminary approval for the building of new homes in E-1 sparked criticism from the U.S., European Union and United Nations.

Palestinians say building in E-1 would disrupt the territorial viability of a future state in which east Jerusalem would serve as the capital. Israel has said plans to build there date back decades to previous governments and that the area should remain under its control in a final peace agreement.

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