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9 Palestinians arrested after farming on land confiscated by settlers

March 9, 2014 6:57 P.M. (Updated: March 10, 2014 11:05 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Two Palestinians were injured and eight were detained on Sunday after Israeli forces dispersed dozens who were planting trees on their confiscated land east of Jerusalem, a local official said.

Muhammad Salama, a council member of the village of Anata, told Ma'an that 100 people from the village were working on their land, which was seized by Israeli settlers in July 2013, when soldiers arrived that the scene.

"Shortly after the villagers arrived and started to dig and plant saplings, Israeli police officers stormed the area along with the settler and assaulted the villagers with pepper spray before detaining nine young men," Salama said.

He said Mahmoud Mustafa Ulayyan and Muhammad Hassan were taken to the hospital for treatment after fainting due to the gas.

Israeli forces arrested Moussa Hassan Salama, Mahmoud Saleh Ibrahim, Muayyad Muin Haikal, Muhammad Khalil Obaiyyat, Adel Samih Ulayyan, Hassan Ahmad Hassan al-Hilo, Ahmad Issa Ulayyan, Yassin Abdelal, and Abed Zahran.

A statement from the Israeli police said that a policeman was lightly injured after Palestinians threw stones.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said she was not familiar with the incident.

Salama said that an Israeli settlers had seized 400 dunams (100 acres) of land from Anata and surrounded the land with barbed wire.

Residents of the village have filed a lawsuit against the settlers, but an Israeli court decision has not yet been made, he added.

More than 500,000 Israeli settlers live in settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in contravention of international law.
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