Palestinian activists rebuilt the Jerusalem Gate protest camp in the central occupied West Bank, on Wednesday, for the ninth time in just over two weeks following another raid and demolition by the Israeli military.According to Ma’an News Agency, activists said they will insist on occupying the land in the Khallet al-Raheb area, near Abu Dis, despite the constant demolitions, repression and detentions by Israeli forces, in order to thwart Israeli plans to displace thousands of Palestinian Bedouin families from their homes.
Spokesperson for local popular resistance committees, Hani Halabiya, told Ma’an that activists set up the tents in the protest camp as soon as Israeli bulldozers left, on Wednesday afternoon.
He said that Israeli forces raided the area as the activists rebuilt, surrounding the camp and taking pictures of activists as they were setting up tents.
Halabiya added that activists will remain in the Jerusalem Gate or ‘Gateway to Jerusalem’ (Bawwabat al-Quds) until Israeli plans to displace Palestinian Bedouins are cancelled, calling upon Palestinians and activists to join the protests in the camp.
Activists said that the ‘plan to displace Bedouins is a demographic bomb that Israel is using to empty Palestinian lands of its original residents, steal their properties, and the rights to return to the original villages that they were displaced from’.
Palestinian Bedouins in the West Bank are largely composed of refugees of Israel’s 1948 ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians, with the majority having fled the Negev Desert while the few who remained — about 10 percent of the total Bedouin population — were confined to reservations.
The majority of Bedouins in Israel and the West Bank live a relatively settled but still sometimes semi-nomadic lifestyle, residing in permanent villages but pasturing livestock in adjacent areas.
Furthermore, Israeli restrictions on movement — in order to build Jewish settlements on Palestinian lands previously used by Bedouins or through the construction of the Separation Wall to cut through the West Bank — have severely curtailed Bedouins’ traditional nomadism.
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