Source: Arutz Sheva
By David Lev
Israelis who set up new communities, called “outposts,” in Judea and Samaria often find that their protest communities are shut down by police and the IDF, to the applause of the international community. However, when the shoe is on the other foot – and it is Arabs setting up illegal outposts as a form of protest – Israel has been instructed to keep hands off, by the head of the international community, UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon.
Earlier this week, IDF soldiers peacefully removed about 150 Arabs who had set up a tent city in the E1 zone outside Maale Adumim. In recent weeks, the government announced that it was advancing plans to move ahead with construction in the area. Palestinian Authority Arabs pitched tents in a section of E1 and set up an “outpost,” declaring it PA territory.
IDF soldiers removed the protesters but left the tents intact, pending a discussion at the High Court regarding petitions on ownership of the land filed by PA Arabs.
In a statement, Ban said that the PA group had “the right to stage peaceful protests that must be fully respected.” The statement added that Ban is “following with concern developments around the E1 area,” noting that Israeli construction in the area is “Illegal under international law,” and that “any such settlement plans for E1 must be rescinded.”
|Cave of the Patriarchs|
Please forgive the staff of YNet News for calling Judea and Samaria “West Bank”, which is merely a geographical description. And when they refer to “Palestinians”, they are really referring to the Arabs who live in Judea and Samaria.
“Palestinian site”? Islam did not exist yet! – Michelle
Source: Ynet News
By Associated Press
Israel is advancing a plan to invest in places it considers part of its national heritage, including nine West Bank sites, the government said Monday in an announcement that could appeal to hard-line voters a week ahead of elections. It triggered an angry Palestinian response.
Israeli Cabinet Secretary Zvi Hauser said Israel is adding handicapped access to the Cave of the Patriarchs, a sensitive site in the West Bank city of Hebron sacred to both Jews and Muslims.
The US objected to Israel’s initial 2010 announcement that it would label the shrine an Israeli heritage site, charging it impeded peace efforts. Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli troops in Hebron then, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned the move could spark a religious war.
Nour Odeh, a spokeswoman for the Palestinian Authority, called on the international community to condemn the latest Israeli announcement.
“The Tomb of the Patriarchs is a Palestinian site, and the Palestinian Authority is the only one in charge of making any changes to it,” Odeh said Monday.
With elections set for next week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears likely to win another term, but his party has been losing seats to a hard-line religious-nationalist faction. The timing of the announcement hinted that he was trying to win back his traditional hawkish voters.
$107 million investment
Hauser said Israel has an obligation to renovate the sites, and it is not related to politics.
“You can’t change history. Many sites of the Bible took place in Judea and Samaria,” said Hauser, using the biblical term for the West Bank. “As long as we’re in the territory, it’s our national and human moral obligation to take care of and preserve these sites.”
Other plans include renovating the West Bank site of Tel Shilo, where Jewish tradition holds the Israelite tabernacle once stood, and possibly building a replica of the tomb of King Herod at the Herodion, a hilltop site near the West Bank town of Bethlehem. Archeologists believe it was the burial site of the Jewish proxy ruler who controlled the Holy Land under imperial Roman occupation two millennia ago.
Under the program, Israel has budgeted about $107 million to invest in about 300 cultural sites and other ventures, including renovating Israeli archaeological sites, digitizing archives and building a museum dedicated to famed physicist Albert Einstein.
Later Monday, Palestinian medical officials reported a Palestinian farmer in northern Gaza was shot dead by Israeli troops. The IDF said an initial investigation disclosed it was not behind the shooting.