Activists set up new protest village in Nablus, settlers shoot teen

06:00 Feb 2 2013 Burin

Activists set up new protest village in Nablus, settlers shoot teen Activists set up new protest village in Nablus, settlers shoot teen
Activists and villagers from Burin carry a structure while erecting the Al Manatir outpost, February 1, 2013 (Photo: Irene Nasser)

Palestinian activists and villagers from Burin erect the new outpost neighborhood of Al Manatir, February 1, 2013 (Photo: Irene Nasser)

NABLUS (Ma’an) -- Palestinian activists and farmers on Saturday erected a new tented protest village south of Nablus, sparking clashes with settlers which left one teen injured.

Around 200 supporters from across the West Bank set up tents in an area of Burin village that activists say is slated for confiscation by a neighboring settlement.

Israeli forces immediately moved to shut down the area, and blocked traffic at the nearby Zaatara checkpoint, stopping several buses of activists destined for the village, witnesses told Ma'an.

Soldiers fired tear gas and sound grenades to disperse the activists, and detained five Palestinians, they said.

Israeli settlers also raided the village and fired at the Palestinians. Zakariya Al-Najjar, 16, was hit by bullet in his thigh, a Ma'an reporter said.

Settlers managed to seized a trailer in the encampment, activist Salah Al-Khawaja told Ma’an.

He said fistfights broke out between Palestinian men and Israeli soldiers trying to remove them.

An Israeli military spokesman said forces used riot-dispersal means when Palestinians threw rocks at them.

Residents said the new village was established to protest Israeli land confiscation for settlement building. Burin is squeezed between the Bracha and Yitzhar settlements, and the target of regular settler violence.

They are calling the new encampment the "Al-Manatir neighborhood" after the traditional stone huts built for watchmen in Palestinian agricultural land.

It is the fourth such initiative in recent weeks.

In January, Palestinian activists started a new wave of tented protest camps in the West Bank.

The Bab al-Shams village was set up in an area where Israel plans to build the "E1" settlement, severing the West Bank from Jerusalem.

Then, locals established the al-Karamah (Dignity) village in Beit Iksa, northwest of Jerusalem, which is set to be tightly encircled by Israel's separation wall.

Last week, activists set up the Al-Asra, or prisoners, protest village in the village of Anin, northwest of Jenin.

Israeli forces have moved to evacuate the camps and dismantle their structures.


Palestinians erect third outpost, are attacked by IDF

By Haggai Matar for +972mag

See update at bottom of post

Some 300 Palestinians from the village of Burin and the popular committees against the wall and settlements set up a new neighborhood on village lands, according to reports, calling it Manatir or Bab Al-Huriya (Gate of Freedom). Israeli forces were quick to respond, sealing off the area to prevent supporters from coming in, and attacked the activists with tear gas, rubber-coated bullets and live bullets. Settlers were also attacking Palestinians in the area.

The new neighborhood, or outpost, was set up Saturday morning on privately owned lands in Burin, a village in Area B near Nablus, which has suffered greatly from settler violence in recent years. Activists on the scene told +972 that settlers have been expanding their activities on village lands, backed by soldiers, who in every instance of conflict declare the area a closed military zone and force only the Palestinians off the land – thus allowing the settlers to maintain control. The settlers of this region around Yitzhar are generally known as some of the most militant throughout the West Bank.

Villagers erected several tents and huts, but were quickly attacked by settlers who started throwing stones at them. Soon enough the army got involved as well, fighting the Palestinians back into the village and sending at least one resident to the hospital with a bullet in the leg. By the afternoon, access roads to the village were sealed off, settlers have been reported to be attacking Palestinian cars on nearby roads and the villagers and activists were trying to regroup to march back to the outpost.

“This activity highlights the crucial need of enhancing and strengthening the culture of grassroots self-defense of our land”, said one of the organizers in a press release. “Furthermore, the action aims at removing settlers and settlements from Palestinian land”, she added. The press release also mentions how “Israeli settlements and land-grab[s] in the Occupied Territory has recently been highlighted by a report submitted to the UN’s Human Rights Council by an independent Fact-Finding Mission on Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The report called on Israelto halt all settlement activity and to ensure accountability for the violations of Palestinians’ human rights, resulting from the settlements. The report also called on all relevant international actors, private or state-connected, to take ‘all necessary steps’ to ensure that they were respecting human rights, ‘including by terminating their business interests in the settlements’.”

This is the third Palestinian outpost to be set up in past month, the first being Bab Alshams (Gate of the Sun) in the E1 area, which gained both local and international attention until it was forcefully brought down, and the second being Bab Al-Karame (Gate of Dignity) in Beit Iqsa, which was also taken down by the army. Gaining more and more international support since the UN bid on November 29, 2012, Palestinians are expected to continue carrying out unarmed and non-violent protests such as these, highlighting Israel’s racist policies that differentiate in its attitude to Jewish illegal outposts on Palestinian land and Palestinian outposts on their own land.

After hours of clashes where IDF troops reportedly shot live fire in the village of Burin, the army completely cleared the new neighborhood of Al Manitar. At least five Palestinians were arrested throughout the day and an unknown number were injured.
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