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Palestinians erect new 'village' as Obama lands in Israel

March 20, 2013 1:33 P.M. (Updated: March 21, 2013 10:48 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinians on Wednesday erected a new "village" encampment in Eizariya to stake their sovereignty and claims to return to their towns and villages.

Activists said they set up 15 tents on a hillside near the original "Bab al-Shams" village that Israeli forces tore down two months earlier.

In a statement, the activists described the initiative as “first, to claim our right as Palestinians to return to our lands and villages, second, to claim our sovereignty over our lands without permission from anyone."

The action coincided with US President Barack Obama's arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport.

The activists said it aimed to highlight their opposition to the Obama administration's policies in the region, saying in the statement that it has been "complicit in Israeli occupation and colonialism."

"An administration that used the veto 43 times ... in support of Israel and against Palestinian rights, an administration that grants military aid to Israel of over three billion dollars annually, can’t have any positive contribution to achieve justice," the statement said.
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