Updated Sunday, January 13, 2013 at 09:28 AM
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged to move ahead with building a Jewish settlement in a strategic area of the West Bank, speaking just hours after Israeli troops dragged anti-settlement protesters from the site marked for construction.
The planned settlement, known as E-1, would deepen east Jerusalem's separation from the West Bank, both war-won areas the Palestinians want for their state.
On Friday, Palestinian and foreign activists pitched some 30 tents in the E-1 area to lay claim to the land. Protester Abdullah Abu Rahma says hundreds of soldiers evicted dozens of activists Sunday, took their ID numbers and released them.
Netanyahu told Israel army radio Sunday that planning for E-1 is moving ahead and that "there will be construction."
The U.S. previously pressured Israel to freeze E-1.