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Israeli forces destroy E1 protest camp for 9th time

Feb. 23, 2015 10:37 A.M. (Updated: Feb. 24, 2015 3:47 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces raided the Gateway to Jerusalem (Bawwabat al-Quds) protest camp for the ninth time in two weeks at dawn on Monday, activists said.

Spokesman for the popular resistance committees in Jerusalem, Hani Halabiya, told Ma'an that dozens of Israeli military vehicles escorted a bulldozer to the site and tore down the tents.

Israeli forces seized all property found at the site following the demolition and activists were denied access to the area.

The Gateway to Jerusalem camp was set up three weeks ago by Palestinian activists to protest Israeli plans to displace Bedouin families from their dwellings in the corridor known as E1, between Jerusalem and Jericho.

The activists remained in the camp, just outside Abu Dis, during the recent rains, thunderstorms and sub-zero temperatures.

Israeli forces have repeatedly raided the camp and destroyed it nine times, with activists immediately rebuilding it shortly afterwards.

Last summer, Israeli authorities in the occupied West Bank released a series of plans that would concentrate Bedouins in two places and destroy more than 20 of their current villages.

Palestinian Bedouins in the West Bank are largely composed of refugees of Israel's 1948 ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians, with the majority having fled the Negev Desert while the few who remained -- about 10 percent of the total Bedouin population -- were confined to reservations.

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