Israeli border police detain a Palestinian man after a
group of activists set up tents and makeshift structures in
protest against a nearby Jewish settlement in the West Bank
village of Burin. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman
Israeli soldiers used tear gas and stun grenades to
disperse about 150 Palestinians trying to block expansion of
Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.
Both sides sustained light injuries as the soldiers removed
about a dozen tents and small huts from land adjacent to the
Palestinian northern West Bank village of Burin, Palestinian
witnesses and the Army said.
It was the third time in recent weeks that Palestinians had
set up an encampment in what they said was an attempt to
hamper the expansion of Israeli settlements on the West Bank.
The previous two were also cleared by Israeli security
An Israeli military spokeswoman said troops used non-lethal
riot dispersal means after Palestinians threw stones at them.
Settlers and Palestinians were also involved in a
stone-throwing clash on a road nearby in which more people on
both sides were lightly injured.
Palestinians want to establish an independent state in the
West Bank, dominated by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas'
Fatah faction, and the Gaza Strip, run by the rival Islamist
group Hamas, with East Jerusalem as the capital.
About 500,000 Israelis and 2.5 million Palestinians live in
the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Direct peace talks between
Israel and the Palestinians broke down in 2010 over the issue
of Israel's continued settlement building.
The Burin protesters said they had been buoyed by a report
issued on Thursday by United Nations human rights
investigators who called on Israel to halt settlement
expansion and withdraw all settlers, adding that the practice
could be subject to prosecution as a possible war crime.
Israel's foreign ministry swiftly rejected the report as
"counterproductive and unfortunate." Palestinians welcomed
the report, saying it vindicated their struggle against