The IDF on Saturday forcibly evicted 150 to 200 Palestinians who had erected two large white tents and seven or eight metal huts outside of the village of Burin, near Nablus.
Photos posted on Twitter and Facebook showed security forces shooting tear gas, and using pepper spray against the activists. The IDF said that when soldiers arrived at the site, Palestinians attacked them with stones.
Video posted by activists at 'Al-Manatir' on February 2nd, 2013.
The event was organized in part by the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee, which had also tried to set up tents on an E1 hilltop, in an unbuilt area of the Ma’aleh Adumim settlement. The tents are part of a new movement by Palestinians to claim areas of the West Bank.
Saturday’s eviction of the site outside Burin that the Palestinians called Al-Manatir set forth a chain of events that lasted until it got dark and involved the IDF, Border Police and settlers from Yitzhar and Har Bracha.
Three Border Police officers were lightly wounded in the clashes, according to a Border Police representative. Two were treated at the scene and one at the hospital.
A Palestinian resident of Burin, Munir Kadus, who works for the Israeli organization Yesh Din – Volunteers for Human Rights, charged that once the event was over, the IDF entered Burin.
When Palestinians threw stones at their jeeps, the soldiers got out and shot tear gas and live ammunition, he said.
A baby, 29 days old, was taken to the hospital and treated for tear gas inhalation, he said.
He added that some of the tear gas canisters caused damage to a mosque in the village.
The IDF denied that live ammunition was used.
Palestinian activists involved in the day’s events also told The Jerusalem Post that live ammunition had been used. The activist said that a dozen Palestinians were injured from rubber bullets and tear gas, including by the canisters.
According to Munir, settlers became involved in the incident in the morning when the Palestinians erected the tents.
He said that they came down to the area and threw stones.
Separately, he said, settlers came to Burin, threw stones at homes and damaged some 80 trees. Munir added that one Jewish man shot at and wounded a 16-year-old Palestinian boy.
Yossi Dagan, deputy head of the Samaria Regional Council, said that it was Palestinians who attacked the settlers by throwing stones.
He further charged that foreign activists had been involved in the incident. He said that for years the council has warned that foreign activists and Israeli anarchists were inciting Palestinians to riot and cause harm to Israeli citizens and soldiers.
Samaria Regional Council head Gershon Mesika said that Saturday’s events were planned in advance and could not have occurred without European involvement.
He asked security forces to evict extreme left-wing activists from the area. •
Jpost.com staff contributed to this report.