Monday, March 25, 2013

Israeli police dismantle Palestinian encampment

JERUSALEM (AP) ? Israel on Sunday dismantled a tent camp Palestinians set up during President Barack Obama's recent visit to protest Israeli plans to build a large West Bank settlement near Jerusalem.

During his visit, Obama singled out the settlement, known by its planning name E-1, as particularly problematic. The settlement of more 3,500 apartments would close in one of the last open spaces between east Jerusalem and the West Bank, territories the Palestinians want for their state along with the Gaza Strip.

Israel captured the three areas in the 1967 Mideast war.

Before dawn Sunday, about 200 Israeli police officers removed some 40 demonstrators from the tent camp, said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.

Three protesters were arrested, but no injuries were reported, Rosenfeld said.

The encampment is part of a new Palestinian tactic to protest against Israeli settlement expansion.

Israel has built dozens of settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem since 1967 that are now home to more than half a million Israelis. In addition, settlers have set up dozens of unauthorized outposts to claim more war-won land.


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