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Activists set up new protest village in Nablus, settlers shoot teen

Feb. 2, 2013 1:31 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 3, 2013 2:41 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma’an) -- Palestinian activists and farmers on Saturday erected a new tented protest village south of Nablus, sparking clashes with settlers which left one teen injured.

Around 200 supporters from across the West Bank set up tents in an area of Burin village that activists say is slated for confiscation by a neighboring settlement.

Israeli forces immediately moved to shut down the area, and blocked traffic at the nearby Zaatara checkpoint, stopping several buses of activists destined for the village, witnesses told Ma'an.

Soldiers fired tear gas and sound grenades to disperse the activists, and detained five Palestinians, they said.

Israeli settlers also raided the village and fired at the Palestinians. Zakariya Al-Najjar, 16, was hit by bullet in his thigh, a Ma'an reporter said.

Settlers managed to seized a trailer in the encampment, activist Salah Al-Khawaja told Ma’an.

He said fistfights broke out between Palestinian men and Israeli soldiers trying to remove them.

An Israeli military spokesman said forces used riot-dispersal means when Palestinians threw rocks at them.

Residents said the new village was established to protest Israeli land confiscation for settlement building. Burin is squeezed between the Bracha and Yitzhar settlements, and the target of regular settler violence.

They are calling the new encampment the "Al-Manatir neighborhood" after the traditional stone huts built for watchmen in Palestinian agricultural land.

It is the fourth such initiative in recent weeks.

In January, Palestinian activists started a new wave of tented protest camps in the West Bank.

The Bab al-Shams village was set up in an area where Israel plans to build the "E1" settlement, severing the West Bank from Jerusalem.

Then, locals established the al-Karamah (Dignity) village in Beit Iksa, northwest of Jerusalem, which is set to be tightly encircled by Israel's separation wall.

Last week, activists set up the Al-Asra, or prisoners, protest village in the village of Anin, northwest of Jenin.

Israeli forces have moved to evacuate the camps and dismantle their structures.
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