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Palestinians erect tent village to protest settlement expansion

by fwire  Feb 2, 2013 23:15 IST

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Ramallah, Feb 2 (IANS) Palestinian activists erected "tent village" to the north of a West Bank village Saturday to protest against Israeli plans to confiscate the land for settlement expansion.

The activists pitched eight tents and decorated them with Palestinian flags in the mountainous area which the Israeli army has announced a closed zone for Palestinians months ago, reported Xinhua.

The village is located near Nablus city and the activists say 80 percent of its land was used or allocated for the use of Jewish settlement activities.

Ghassan Daghlas, head of the popular resistance movement, said that 400 activists are holding a sit-in protest in the area, adding that the Israeli army intensified its presence there, blocking roads leading to the tent village.

The village is located in Area B of the West Bank, where Israel retains security control while the Palestinian National Authority's (PNA) mandate there is limited to administrative issues.

The activists started the tactic of tent villages since the beginning of 2013 in a bid to draw attention to the confiscation of land. The idea is based on erecting the tents before Israel starts any activity on the lands set for seizure.

On Thursday, an investigation committee formed by the United Nations Human Rights Council called on Israel to stop settlement expansion in the lands that it occupied in 1967. The investigators urged Israel to evacuate its settlements in the West Bank.

The settlement activities caused Israeli-Palestinian peace talks to break down in 2010.