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Palestinians pitch tents in new outpost effort

February 2, 2013 17:55

Activists create fourth outpost of its kind in West Bank village of Burin; activists, settler, security forces clash at scene.

Palestinian activists erect tents in E1, January 11, 2013.

Palestinian activists erect tents in E1 370. (photo credit:REUTERS)

A violent disturbance involving some 150 Palestinians occurred at the West Bank village of Burin on Saturday, at the site where Palestinians pitched tents over the weekend, an IDF spokesman said. Rioters hurled rocks at soldiers, who responded with riot dispersal means. No injuries were reported.

Tents put up by the Palestinians in the area are still standing.

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The IDF arrested five Palestinian activists in clashes between the activists and settlers from nearby settlement Yizhar, an IDF spokesman said.

Palestinian activists pitched tents and erected huts on Saturday at noon, in an effort to establish a new neighborhood in Burin, a West Bank village south of Nablus.

Spokeswoman for the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee Abir Kopty tweeted that the name "Almantir" had been chosen for the new neighborhood, because in Palestinian culture it means "the hut built from stones and mud used for guards who are safeguarding their homes."

IDF soldiers and settlers were present, and activists reported that settlers were throwing stones at them and that soldiers had fired tear gas and sound grenades. Activists also reported settler violence, including the firing of live ammunition at a 17-year-old Palestinian activist's leg.

The IDF spokesperson said that violent and illegal disturbances has broken out with some 150 Palestinians at the scene, throwing stones at security forces who were using crowd dispersal methods. She added that the IDF had blocked off the area to prevent more activists for entering. The creation of Almantir marks the fourth outpost of its kind erected by Palestinians, in a new phenomenon that began with the creation of Bab al-Shams. The IDF dismantled the previous outposts.

"This activity highlights the crucial need of enhancing and strengthening the culture of grassroots self-defense of our land”, said one of the organizers. “Furthermore, the action aims at removing settlers and settlements from Palestinian land.”

CORRECTION: A previous version of this report cited military sources as saying that the IDF had begun dismantling a few structures at the Almantir outpost, however, the sources later clarified that evacuation has not yet begun.
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