RAMALLAH, January 20 (JMCC) - Palestinians established a new camp called Dignity Village Sunday on the lands of Beit Iksa village near Ramallah to protest Israel's confiscation of 115 acres of land to build the Wall that runs through much of the occupied West Bank, reports
Israeli officials have ordered the four tents removed, similar to a much larger camp that was established last week on land in the E1 area near Jerusalem that has been slated for Jewish settlement expansion.
About 100 residents and activists were at the site when Israeli soldiers issued the invasion removal orders, and minor scuffles broke out before the troops left the scene.
One of the organisers, Saeed Yaqin, told AFP that the first thing we did was to tear up the order and throw it in the soldiers' faces. We and all the Palestinian people object and reject the military order.
This is the first time since 1967 somebody's torn up a military order, he said.
The land here is under occupation, and international law prohibits touching it, Yaqin added.
Bab al-Karama was inspired by a separate Palestinian protest camp of 24 tents set up on a disputed piece of land on the eastern outskirts of Jerusalem that was dismantled by police last week.
Activists had established the camp, which they dubbed Bab al-Shams, or Gate of the Sun in Arabic, also in a bid to draw attention to Israeli plans to build in the area, known as E1.
The army spokesman called the Beit Iksa encampment a provocation intended to undo order in the West Bank.
If they want to protest the route of the separation barrier, which was approved by legal authorities in Israel, they can appeal to a court, which in the past has more than once ordered the route changed, he added.
Israel is claiming that the land where the camp is located is state land, or land slated for the Wall. The structure consists of eight-meter high walls in populated areas, or electronic fencing, patrol roads and guard towers in others. An advisory opinion by the International Court of Justice declared the barrier illegal because it largely runs through occupied territory.