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Israel orders Palestinians out of outpost

Jan. 12, 2013 at 3:48 PM

RAMALLAH, West Bank, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Israel ordered Palestinians Saturday to withdraw from an illegal outpost in a disputed part of the West Bank.

But the High Court of Justice barred the Israeli government from tearing down the outpost, Ynetnews.com reported. The court said it can only be removed if an emergency justifies the action.

The Bab al-Shams outpost, consisting of about 30 tents, was constructed early Friday in the E1, a West Bank area where Binyamin Netanyahu plans new settlement construction. The name is Arabic for Gate of the Sun.

Mahmoud Zawara of the Popular Palestinian Committees told Ynetnews.com the outpost is part of the "Palestinian struggle" against Netanyahu's plans for settlement expansion.

Two Palestinian Authority officials, Hanan Ashrawi and Minister of Social Affairs Majida al-Masri, were barred from traveling to the outpost Saturday morning, Ashrawi told the Palestinian Ma'an news agency.

"The soldiers treated us improperly and savagely before they forced us to go back to Ramallah," Ashrawi said.

Both officials called the construction of the outpost a legitimate protest against settlement expansion.

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