Beit Iksa: Palestinians spend first night in new West Bank protest camp


Palestinian activists set up on January 11, 2013 an 'outpost' named Bab al-Shams ('gate of the sun') in the Israeli-occupied West Bank , between Jerusalem and the Jewish settlement of Maale Adumim, in an area Israel said it would build thousands of new settler homes. Six weeks ago, Israel announced plans to build thousands of settler homes in the largely uninhabited E1 area, in a move which sparked a global outcry. E1 falls within Area C of the West Bank which is under full Israeli civilian and security control and where Palestinians find it almost impossible to obtain building permits.


Abbas Momani

Palestinian protesters have spent their first night in a camp set up Friday in the village of Beit Iksa in the West Bank. 

The camp is made up of a mosque and several tents, and is a protest of Israel's ongoing illegal settlement plans. It has been named "al-Karamah," which means "dignity" in Arabic, according to Al Jazeera English.

The new camp comes just a week after Israeli forces dismantled a similar set-up in the controversial E-1 corridor near Jerusalem, despite a Superior Court injunction. 

"We have settled on the lands of the Beit Iksa village to prevent its confiscation by the Israeli army," Osama Zayed, one of the organizers, told Agence France Presse

An official from Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas' Fatah movement, Ziad Abu Ein, also told AFP that "many such villages should be created, to remove the occupation and the settlements."

Israeli soldiers are monitoring the camp to "prevent disturbances," the Associated Press reported

The temporary settlement mimics the over 120 illegal settlements built since 1967, when Israel captured the West Bank, according to PressTV

The UN and many countries consider the Israeli settlements to be illegal according to the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied territory. 

More from GlobalPost: Israeli forces evacuate Palestinian tent outpost (PHOTOS)