A reported 150 people participated Sunday afternoon in a demonstration near the West Bank village of Naalin, west of Ramallah to protest the security fence being built in the area. The protestors accused IDF soldiers of using tear gas to disperse them while the latter claimed that rocks were thrown in their direction.
The demonstrators - Left-wing Israeli, Palestinian and foreign nationals - have gathered on land due to be confiscated to allow for a fence to be built around the Hashmonaim settlement.
The protestors reported two people were injured in the confrontation with security forces and said an Israeli reporter had documented the incident.
They also said IDF troops were shooting directly at them with tear gas projectors in an attempt to force them to disperse.
Four protestors were detained by security forces.
The army said the protestors were in violation of an order declaring the area a closed military zone and that troops responded with non-lethal means of riot dispersal.
The IDF and the Civil Administration, the governing body in the West Bank, decided in the last few days that due to the construction of the fence they will transfer 440 olive trees belonging to the inhabitants of Naalin to a nearby area.
This way, the trees will be left in the hands of their owners. The Palestinians are protesting this decision and claiming that moving the trees will negatively affect their income.
The IDF plans on moving the olive trees under the supervision of the Civil Administration’s officer but the Naalin residents are not willing to cooperate since they reject any activity surrounding the fence.
“They are moving the trees but what about the soil? Our experience with Israeli occupation isn’t positive,” said one of the villagers and noted that they will fight this decision and demonstrate against the building of the security fence.
Efrat Weiss contributed to this report