Arabs Plan More Tents in New Illegal Outpost
The Palestinian Authority Arabs who set up an illegal outpost north of Jerusalem on Friday do not intend to back down.
The Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency quoted the Arabs as having said on Saturday they will erect more tents in the outpost, which they have called “Al-Karamah (Dignity).”
The illegal outpost was set up in Beit Iksa, a PA Arab village located between the Ramot and Mevasseret Zion neighborhoods of Jerusalem.
In a statement quoted by Ma’an, a broad coalition of PA factions affirmed their support for the initiative and called on the international community to pressure Israel against expanding Jewish construction in the area.
The Arabs said they would plant olive trees and finish the construction of a small mosque in the encampment.
Al-Karamah will host solidarity delegations and hold cultural events in the evening, they said, according to Ma’an.
The Arabs have said that the reason for the outpost is the fact that Beit Iksa is set to be entirely encircled by Israel's border fence, cutting it off from Jerusalem.
Israeli authorities ordered the confiscation of 124 acres of the village's land three weeks ago, and do not permit any new building in the town, they claimed.
After the outpost was set up on Friday, residents of Beit Iksa reported that IDF forces had arrived at the outpost shortly after it was set up and were likely to evacuate and demolish it. The IDF would only indicate that it was monitoring the situation.
Last Friday, Arab activists set up an illegal outpost in the E1 area, which connects Jerusalem and Maaleh Adumim, and that was just recently opened to construction for Israelis.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu later ordered security forces to immediately evacuate the Arabs, ordering the closure of access roads to the area in order to prevent gatherings until a Supreme Court rescinds its injunction against the evacuation of the outpost.
The Arabs in the outpost were evacuated by security forces on Saturday night. The Court later accepted the State’s request and cancelled a temporary injunction which had prevented Israel from taking down the tents that were in the outpost.
On Wednesday night, after the injunction was cancelled, security forces demolished the tents.