Palestinians occupy the occupied land in tent protest against settlements
A Palestinian flag flutters as Palestinians, together with Israeli and foreign activists, stand near tents at the Bab al-Shams (Gate of the Sun) 'outpost' in the sensitive West Bank corridor east of Jerusalem on Saturday (Photo: AFP /AHMAD GHARABLI)
The Israeli occupation administration gave Palestinian activists an ultimatum on Saturday morning to end an anti-Israeli settlement protest in the West Bank, an organizer told AFP.
Around 200 protestors, both local and non-Palestinian, erected steal-frame tents on land around East Jerusalem, where the settlements were planned.
However, hours after the deadline passed, there was no sign of any Israeli move to evict the protesters as even more activists joined the demonstration and Palestinian politicians visited in a show of support, an AFP correspondent reported.
"We have no intention of leaving of our own accord," Abir Copty, one of the protest organizers, said.
Previous attempts by the Israeli military administration to expel the activists were quelled late on Friday when demonstrators successfully petitioned to the Israeli supreme court for the orders to be frozen.
According to AFP, late on Saturday morning, Israeli security forces were deployed near the camp and a police helicopter hovered overhead.
The demonstration began on Friday when activists erected a 20-tent ‘outpost’ to protest Israeli plans to build a large Jewish settlement on a key route through the territory.
Activists say that plans to build housing units in E1, the controversial corridor of land east of Jerusalem, would cut off the northern part of the West Bank from the south and would leave Palestinian areas of Jerusalem surrounded by a chain of Jewish ones, threatening the viability of a future Palestinian state.
On Friday, a senior Palestinian official described the protest 'outpost' - dubbed Bab al-Shams (Gate of the Sun) – as a "highly creative and legitimate non-violent" way of protecting Palestinian land from Israeli settlement activity.
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