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Israel razes Bab al-Shams protest village
Published Thursday 17/01/2013 (updated) 19/01/2013 10:48
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BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces tore down tents in the Bab al-Shams protest village overnight Wednesday following an Israeli high court ruling, activists and police said.

Activist Ali Abedat told Ma'an that Israeli forces deployed heavily in the area on Wednesday, sealing entrances to the village with cement blocks.

Overnight, four Israeli bulldozers, several military vehicles and dozens of settlers raided the village and tore down the tents, Abedat said.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said all tents had been cleared from the area. "There were no disturbances," he added.

Bab al-Shams village council member Mahmud Zawahra told Ma'an that activists would rebuild the village soon.

On Sunday, police evicted 50 protesters from the so-called "E1" area outside the Palestinian suburbs of East Jerusalem, where planned Israeli settlements could split much of the West Bank -- a worry for world powers who want to see a Palestinian state set up in the territory seized by the Jewish state in the 1967 war.

The activists' large, steel-framed tents had remained standing in accordance with an Israeli court order while judges considered a Palestinian claim of ownership of land where the encampment was built.

The Supreme Court approved removal of the tents on Wednesday, agreeing with the government's argument that they could be a magnet for violent Palestinian protests. That ruling was decried by activists who describe Bab al-Shams as a non-violent implementation of Palestinian rights.

Jewish settlements in areas captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war are illegal under international law and most world powers echo concerns voiced by Palestinians that building more settler homes could deny them a viable and contiguous state.

E1 covers some 12 square km and is considered particularly important because it not only juts into the narrow "waist" of the West Bank, but also backs onto East Jerusalem, where Palestinians want to establish their capital.
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1 ) Wrollwell College / UK
17/01/2013 11:32
These tents are now required in Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, and Jordan to house Syrian refugees.

2 ) THE SUN WILL COME UP / TOMORROW
17/01/2013 15:05
Annie

3 ) John / USA
17/01/2013 17:56
Why publish the stupid comments Maan ?

4 ) Carol Scheller / Switzerland
17/01/2013 20:05
Seems it really got under their skin.

5 ) Elise / USA
17/01/2013 21:33
to #3: Comments are published because it is a newspaper of "dialog" and dialog, in the form of comments, is the most valuable tool of Maan. The entire world gets involved through these comments. And Maan publishes all really good comments, no matter which side is expressed, in order to have a dialog. Across the entire world. (Congrats on your anniversarry, Maan, so good to see what our friends in Maan now look like! Thank you)

6 ) Colin Wright / USA
18/01/2013 02:52
'The Supreme Court approved removal of the tents on Wednesday, agreeing with the government's argument that they could be a magnet for violent Palestinian protests.' It wouldn't be a magnet if Israel returned the land to its owners. The bleak hypocrisy of this ruling is truly...Zionist.

7 ) Colin Wright / USA
18/01/2013 02:55
To Elise #5 'And Maan publishes all really good comments...in order to have a dialog.' Ma'an publishes all comments. If it only published good ones, it could never publish any pro-Israel comments. As I have often observed, it's impossible to write one hundred consecutive words in defense of Israel without lying. At any rate, I've never seen anyone do it. There is no dialog to be had with Israel. Since their position has no defense, they cannot afford to enter into an authentic dialog.

8 ) Mel / USA
18/01/2013 02:56
Another Arab Spring and summer is JUST AROUND the corner! Bab al-Shams will RISE again tomorrow,the whole Arab "shams" should spread right across the JORDAN VALLEY too!Before Zionism grabs the whole West and EAST bank(Jordan).Time for global peace-activists to OCCUPY the Zionist occupation,free Palestine & FREE Israel (from Zionism)&turn it into an Israel we can ALL be proud of."The sun has got its hat on and it's coming out to STAY!"OCCUPY the occupation!
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