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Israeli forces detain 2 from E1 protest camp

March 13, 2015 4:37 P.M. (Updated: March 15, 2015 6:00 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Clashes erupted in the Gateway to Jerusalem encampment in eastern Abu Dis between Israeli soldiers and dozens of Palestinian youths on Friday.

Lawyer Bassam Bahr told Ma'an that dozens of Palestinians performed Friday prayers inside the Gateway to Jerusalem camp, stressing their refusal of Israeli plans to isolate Jerusalem from surrounding areas.

Bahr added that Israeli forces detained two youths identified as Muhammad Sabri Wahish and Jamal Arabiya.

The Gateway to Jerusalem camp was set up in protest to Israeli plans to displace Bedouin families from their dwellings in the corridor known as E1, between Jerusalem and Jericho. The camp has been continually re-erected by activists in recent months.

The plans, released last summer, include relocation of around 12,500 Bedouins to free up additional lands for settlement construction, especially in E1.

Rights groups have slammed the plans, arguing that the forcible transfer amounts to a massive land grab and an attempt by authorities to annex the crucial E1 area, effectively cutting the West Bank in two.

Palestinian Bedouins in the West Bank are largely composed of refugees from Israel's 1948 ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians.
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