(photo credit: B'tselem)
Settlers from the Matityahu East neighborhood of Modi'in Illit broke through the perimeter fence surrounding their development and planted two mobile homes on land that residents of the neighboring Palestinian village of Bil'in claim is theirs, the spokesman for the Judea and Samaria police district said Tuesday.
It marked the first time that haredim living in the West Bank have put up structures without permission from the authorities.
The spokesman said police had detained two Palestinians and two settlers for taking part in fights that broke out between the sides. The police also detained the drivers of the truck and crane that were used to deliver the caravans and place them on the site.
Meanwhile, three Palestinians who said they were badly beaten by settlers were taken by police to a checkpoint and driven from there by Palestinian ambulance to a hospital in Ramallah. They had rushed to the site of the building activity and tried to prevent the settlers from putting the caravans on the ground.
"About 50 settlers started throwing stones and punching us," Abdullah Abu Rahme, one of the wounded Palestinians, told The Jerusalem Post.
He said it had taken the police an hour to arrive and extricate them.
Meanwhile, pro-Palestinian activist Neta Golan told the Post that when Bil'in residents had twice put up caravans on roughly the same spot, the police had dismantled them within a day.
"Let's see how long it takes them this time," she added.