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Israeli forces raid E1 protest camp, 3 detained

Feb. 16, 2015 2:13 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 18, 2015 1:39 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces raided the "Jerusalem Gate" protest camp near Abu Dis on Monday and detained three Palestinian activists during clashes, a spokesperson said.

Hani Halabiya told Ma'an that Hassan Matar, Rafat Shihada, and another unidentified activist were detained as Israeli forces fired tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets and stun grenades during the raid.

Several other people were assaulted with batons.

The raid took place as dozens of activists had started building concrete rooms inside the protest camp, which was originally set up in early February but has since been demolished five times.

At least three bulldozers had surrounded the camp, Halabiya said, with activists determined to prevent the destruction of the area.

The camp was built in protest against an Israeli plan to build Jewish-only settlements in the E1 corridor east of Jerusalem on the way to Jericho where Palestinian Bedouins have been living for decades.

The majority of Bedouins in Israel and the West Bank live a relatively settled but still sometimes semi-nomadic lifestyle, residing in permanent villages but pasturing livestock in adjacent areas.

Israeli restrictions on movement -- in order to build Jewish settlements on Palestinian lands previously used by Bedouins or through the construction of the separation wall to cut through the West Bank -- have severely curtailed Bedouins' traditional nomadism.
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