Six Israeli Jewish activists arrested in Issawiya

06:30 Feb 6 2012 Issawiya, east Jerusalem

Mya Guarnieri for the Alternative Information Center (AIC)

Israeli forces, accompanied by bulldozers, arrived in the East Jerusalem village of Issawiya early this morning and reportedly arrested six Jewish Israeli activists.

Witnesses say that Magav (border police) and mounted forces assembled in the privately-owned area of Issawiya that Israel plans to turn into a national park at approximately 6:30 am. Palestinian residents and Jewish Israeli activists gathered in response; six Jewish Israelis were arrested. Arik Asherman of Rabbis for Human Rights was reportedly among those detained.

According to village sources, the Israelis did not have a government-issued order and are forbidden to work on the land as residents are currently contesting the state's expropriation of the area in court.

Israeli soldiers clashed with youth in Issawiya last Tuesday, the website +972 reports. Two Israeli soldiers were hurt. One Palestinian was seriously injured after he was shot in the head with a rubber-coated bullet; more than a dozen Palestinians sustained light injuries.

UPDATE: Witnesses now say that, of the six arrested in Issawiya this morning, five were Jewish Israelis and one was Palestinian. All six were released.
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