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construction in the area is “Illegal under international law,” and that “any such settlement plans for E1 must be rescinded.”