[Beit Sahour protest - alquds.com]
By Saed Bannoura
IMEMC & Agencies: Israeli soldiers attacked on Sunday morning a nonviolent protest carried out against the army’s illegal decision to allow Israeli settlers to install a settlement outpost on city land, used as a public park after the army removed its military base from the area.
Local sources reported that the army fired concussion grenades at the protesters who tried to enter land that the army wants to illegally confiscate and make it part of its planned settlement.
The Israeli army evicted its ‘Osh Ghrab (Crow’s Nest) military base, located east of Beit Sahour, in 2006, but recently allowed Israeli settlers to return to the area under the pretext of maintaining existing structures in preparation to using them as a settlement outpost later on.
Israeli media sources reported that the current plan includes the restructuring of four buildings in the area. The protesters carried Palestinian flags, chanting slogans against the occupation, and carried signs that read, “The land is part of the Palestinian State, the Occupation Must Leave Immediately”.
Hasan Beijiyyah, member of the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements in Bethlehem, stated that, should a settlement be built in the area, Bethlehem will be completely surrounded by Israeli settlements, and will completely be isolated from its surrounding Palestinian areas.
Ush Ghrab (“Crow’s Nest” in Arabic) has witnessed multiple turnovers of military control over the last century. Because of its location, sandwiched between Bethlehem and Jerusalem with a 360-degree view of several Palestinian villages, the area served as a continuous military post first under the Ottomans, then the British, then the Jordanians, and over the last 40 years as an Israeli military base up until April 2006, when the army unilaterally withdrew from the post.
Immediately after the withdrawal, Israel imposed a military control order on Ush Ghrab, but recently the municipality of Beit Sahour was able to lift the order and begin community development of the area.
– The Electronic Intifada