Israeli Border Police Storms Youth Camp, Fires Teargas Canisters

JERUSALEM, February 16, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli Border Police Monday raided a youth camp that was set up east of Jerusalem to protest Israeli settlement expansion plans in the area, according to local sources.

Hani Halabia, spokesman of the People’s Resistance in the nearby town of Abu Dis, said a Border Police force accompanied by heavy machinery surrounded the camp and proceeded to fire teargas canisters towards local and international activists, causing multiple cases of suffocation by teargas inhalation.

On February 3, around 250 Palestinian activists set up a makeshift camp in the so-called E1 area located east of Jerusalem, which they labeled the “East Gate of Jerusalem.” The activists said the move was to protest Israel’s attempts to annex the area where the camp was set up.

The “East Gate of Jerusalem” has now been attacked and ravaged six times by Israeli forces, Halabiya added.

The “East Gate of Jerusalem” is the third of its kind after two similar camps were set up by local and foreign activists in 2013 and 2014.

In January 2013, Palestinian activists and foreign supporters set up a similar camp which they named “Bab al-Shams,” or “Gate of the Sun.” Despite of its peaceful trend, the camp was nonetheless rammed and evacuated by Israeli army and Border Police.

A similar camp was also erected in February 2014, when 300 Palestinians and international activists gathered and set up a makeshift camp in an abandoned village in the Jordan Valley village. The village, Ein Hijleh, had been abandoned after Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan in 1967.