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West Bank activists set up new protest camp

Mosque and several tents erected in village of Beit Iksa near Jerusalem to protest against Israel's illegal settlements.
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2013 12:59
Activists erected the 20-tent Bab al Shams 'outpost' in a strategic West Bank corridor known as E-1 [File/AFP]

Palestinian activists have spent their first night at a protest camp set up in the occupied West Bank to demonstrate against Israel's illegal settlement policy.

A mosque and several tents were established in the village of Beit Iksa near Jerusalem on Friday.

The protesters have named the camp "al-Karamah", meaning "dignity" in Arabic.

The move comes a week after activists set up a similar camp, Bab al Shams, in a strategic West Bank corridor known as E-1 where Israel has said it plans to build a large illegal settlement.

The activists were evacuated a day later.

In a statement, Friday's activists said they were securing land from Israel, a tactic adopted from settlers, who establish communities hoping the territory will remain theirs once structures are built.

"We are here in the al-Karamah village ... to affirm the Palestinian right to be here in this place," said Palestinian protester Mohammad Rabie.

"We won't allow for this brutal occupier to roam freely and implement their plans of settlement."

The Israeli military said soldiers were monitoring the area to prevent disturbances.

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