Israel blocks activists from returning to E1 protest camp

E1, January 15, 2013 (Reuters) By use of stun grenades, Israeli police blocked about 50 Palestinian activists who tried on Tuesday to reoccupy the tented protest camp Bab al-Shams that was erected last week in the West Bank.

On Sunday, hundreds of police officers evicted the activists from the tent camp and according to the activists six were hurt in the process.

Activists who tried to return to the tents on Tuesday were confronted by police officers who told them the site had been designated off-limits by the Israeli army.

One of the activists wore a white bridal gown and cars were decked out in bright ribbons, making the protest look like a traditional Palestinian wedding.

“The protesters continued to make their way up. Police pushed the protesters back down the hill,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. “Two stun grenades were used to disperse the protesters and prevent attempts to climb back up.” He added that twenty Palestinians had been detained for questioning.

The area known as E1 connects the two parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank outside Palestinian suburbs of East Jerusalem. For years, Israel has frozen building in E1 due to pressure from the former US President George W. Bush.

After the Palestinians won de-facto statehood recognition at the United Nations General Assembly, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has however announced building plans in the disputed area. Israel has drawn strong international criticism for these building plans.

Jewish settlement building in areas captured by Israel in a 1967 war are illegal under international law.

Source: Ma’an News