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Israel's PM closes roads in preparation to evacuate Palestinians from West Bank protest site

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Palestinian activists place Palestinian flags in the new 'outpost ' of Bab al-Shams (Gate of the Sun) in an area known as E1, near Jerusalem, Saturday, Jan 12, 2013. Palestinian activists pitched tents in the West Bank on Friday to protest Israeli plans to build a large Jewish settlement on a key route through the territory. The E-1 settlement would block east Jerusalem from its West Bank hinterland — both territories captured by Israel during the 1967 Mideast war. (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi) (The Associated Press)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has closed roads leading to a West Bank site in preparation to evacuate Palestinians who pitched tents there to protest plans to build a Jewish settlement.

Netanyahu's office said Saturday the state is petitioning the Supreme Court to rescind an earlier injunction blocking the evacuation.

In the meantime, he ordered the area declared a closed military zone and shut off access.

Palestinian activists erected tents in the area known as E-1 on Friday saying they wanted to "establish facts on the ground" to stop settlement building.

Critics say E-1 would be a major blow to Palestinian statehood hopes as it blocks east Jerusalem from its West Bank hinterland. Palestinian want these areas, along with Gaza, for the future state.