On Friday morning, a group of NGO workers in Beit Sahour found five settlers on an abandoned military base near Sheppard’s Field, outside the city center. After the settlers noticed the NGO workers, they immediately called the Israeli army to intervene.
The settlers left soon after, and the army arrived to find that a group of around 20 internationals and Palestinians had assembled and was playing games in the abandoned army base.
The army then gave the group five minutes to leave. The group left after the warning, but the army detained one Palestinian man, Awni Jobran of the Holy Land Trust, and released him after a brief period.
A group of settlers had also invaded the same location last week, stayed for a few hours, and left pro-Israeli graffiti on the buildings.
Local activists are hoping to maintain a presence on the site in order to dissuade Israeli settlers from coming to set up a permanent settlement.