For the third time in the past month, a group of Palestinians and extreme left-wing activists on Saturday set up a protest encampment in Judea and Samaria and clashed with Israeli forces sent to evacuate them. Army Radio has dubbed the protest the "Tentifadah," a play on the words "tent" and "intifada," Arabic for "uprising."
Clashes erupted after Israeli security forces arrived at the site, near the Givat Ronen neighborhood of the Har Bracha settlement and the Palestinian village of Burin. Israeli troops fired tear gas and stun grenades at rock-throwing Palestinians. Three Border Police personnel were injured.
The IDF said five Palestinians were arrested. No serious injuries were reported in the incident.
Calm was eventually restored and the encampment of about a dozen tents and small huts, was dismantled in the evening hours.
Palestinians are trying to draw attention to Israel's control of territory that they want for a future Palestinian state.
In particular, they protest what they say is Israel's broader policy of not allowing Palestinians to build in areas under Israeli control.
"We are doing this to confirm our ownership of the land, and its sovereignty," said Abir Kopty, a Palestinian activist. "It's not enough to make reports and condemnations. There's a need for concrete action."
By building encampments, Palestinians are imitating Israeli settlers who have established a number of illegal outposts throughout Judea and Samaria, typically clusters of caravans near already-built settlements. Some of these outposts have been dismantled by the Israeli government, but many have not.
There was also a disturbance involving Palestinians and Israeli settlers near Yitzhar on Saturday. Army Radio reported that Palestinians and Israeli settlers threw rocks at each other. The Palestinians reported that a teenager was wounded by gunfire and that olive trees were cut down. Settlers denied both claims. Seven Palestinians were arrested, as was one settler who was found in possession of two saws.
Several hours later, an Israeli taxi driver in the Ariel area was stabbed in the hand. The attackers escaped and the driver was taken to hospital for treatment.