Israeli forces raid protest village in Jordan valley
Published Tuesday 04/02/2014 (updated) 05/02/2014 15:14
JERICHO (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Tuesday raided the protest village of Ein Hijleh and fired live bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at protesters there, a Palestinian lawmaker said.
Mustafa Barghouthi said two people were lightly injured and treated on the spot.
Barghouthi added that they raided the village to remove a sign which had the name of the village on it, and clashes were ongoing.
Activist Abdullah Abu Rahma suffered fractures to his arm and Mohammad al-Khatib suffered broken ribs a day earlier after they scuffled with Israeli forces. They were taken to a Jericho hospital.
Israeli forces prevented ambulances from reaching the village on Monday, and the injured had to walk for a while before being taken to hospital.
Israeli forces also briefly detained 18 participants in the village as they either entered or left it. They were all released later.
Hundreds of activists set up the encampment Friday in protest against Israeli settlement activities, attempts to annex the Jordan Valley, and confiscation of lands belonging to a local Orthodox church.
The protest follows similar efforts by Palestinian protesters in the encampments of Bab al-Shams and Ahfad Younis in early 2013 that were dispersed by Israeli forces.
Jewish settlers frequently raid Palestinian lands and set up illegal outposts across the West Bank, usually uninhibited by Israeli authorities and often supported by Israeli military forces. These outposts are often chosen for their strategic locations between Palestinian villages and atop hills or major roads.
Israeli forces often provide security for the settlers, confiscating nearby Palestinian lands and expanding military presence.
Many of these outposts are eventually developed into permanent settlements, and today nearly 500,000 Israeli Jews live in settlements built across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.