West Bank demonstrators evicted

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Palestinian protesters who pitched tents at a strategic West Bank site to protest against plans to build a Jewish housing project there were evicted early yesterday.

Palestinian activists erected tents in the area known as E-1 on Friday saying they wanted to “establish facts on the ground” to stop Israeli construction in the West Bank. The Palestinian activists were borrowing a phrase and a tactic usually associated with Jewish settlers, who believe establishing communities means the territory will remain theirs once structures are built.

Police said they evicted about 100 protesters from the site after a court decision authorising their removal. They said no arrests were made during the half hour operation and that no injuries were sustained on either side.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered roads closed leading to the area on Saturday night and had the military declare a closed military zone and shut off access.