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Clashes break out at new protest village in Jenin

Jan. 26, 2013 5:57 A.M. (Updated: Jan. 28, 2013 5:34 A.M.)
JENIN (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces assaulted a Palestinian official on Saturday during clashes at a newly erected protest village in Jenin, witnesses said.

Dozens of Palestinian activists set up the Al-Asra, or prisoners, protest village in the village of Anin, northwest of Jenin, on Saturday, Palestinian Authority Minister of Prisoners Issa Qaraqe announced during a press conference.

Anin village is located next to Israel's separation wall.

The governor of Jenin Talal Dweikat and member of the Palestinian Legislative Council Jamal Hwail attempted to enter the village with activists, but were prevented from doing so by Israeli forces.

Physical clashes ensued, and Israeli soldiers assaulted Hwail and fired tear gas at the activists, witnesses said, causing several injuries.

The brother of hunger striker Yousef Yassin, from Anin village, was arrested by soldiers, witnesses said.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said that "200 Palestinians hurled rocks at soldiers, who responded with riot dispersal means." No injuries or arrests were reported, she added.

The Al-Asra protest village is the latest action in a wider strategy of popular Palestinian resistance to Israeli land annexation.

On Friday, activists rebuilt the al-Karamah (Dignity) village which was torn down by Israeli forces on Monday.

The tent village was established to protest Israel's land confiscation and settlement building in the area of Beit Iksa, set to be entirely encircled by Israel's separation wall once completed.

Last week, Israeli forces tore down the tented village Bab al-Shams, set up to protest Israel's plans to build the "E1" settlement on the land, severing the West Bank from Jerusalem.
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