x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 July 2017

Israeli forces evict Palestinains from protest against settlements

The army uses tear gas to remove hundreds of people who had set up four temporary huts and three tents near Burin, south of Nablus in the northern West Bank.

BURIN, WEST BANK // Palestinians and activists were removed today from a new camp near a West Bank village, after a third attempt at the novel form of protest against Jewish settlement.

The Israeli army used tear gas to remove hundreds of people who had set up four temporary huts and three tents near Burin, south of Nablus in the northern West Bank, a witness said.

Journalists were also forcefully removed from the site. The witness said the army made arrests, but was not aware of injuries.

A spokesman for the army was unaware of the eviction, but said there was "a violent and illegal riot taking place near Burin".

"Approximately 150 Palestinians were gathering and hurling rocks at IDF (Israel Defence Forces) soldiers, who are responding with riot dispersal means," the spokesman said.

Earlier, residents and activists set up what they called "the neighbourhood... Al Manatir", the activist Abir Kopty said. The name means "the traditional stone huts Palestinians built in their agricultural lands, which were used as shelter for the watchmen of the fields", Ms Kopty said.

"Burin lost a lot of its land to the settlements around, Har Bracha and others, and is subject to settlers' terror and attacks on the people."
She said settlers had thrown stones at village residents and activists from afar before the army got involved. The witness said that after the eviction, one of the structures was taken away by a group of them.

In January, Palestinians put up a 24-tent protest camp on disputed land on the eastern outskirts of Jerusalem, dubbed Bab Al Shams or Gate of the Sun in Arabic, in a bid to draw attention to Israeli plans to build in the area, known as E1.

Later that month, activists set up an encampment of four tents and a structure under construction to protest against Israel's intention to confiscate land near Beit Iksa north-west of Jerusalem, naming it Bab Al Karama, or "Gate of Dignity."

Both encampments were later removed by the Israeli military which controls those parts of the occupied West Bank.