"This group was established to protect itself against attacks by settlers and the army, because we've decided not to sit still about 'price tags' any longer," said Muhammad Hativ from the West Bank village of Bilin, near Ramallah.
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"We have no intention of harming anyone, but rather to defend and intervene in a non-violent manner."
According to Abu Husam Tamimi from the West Bank village of Nabi Salih, "this is all because of September."
"The army began to train the settlers and they started to train dogs against the Palestinian demonstrations. We're worried the settlers are going to use that to attack us, so we've decided to protect ourselves."
Popular Committees defend against "price tag" (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)
The Palestinians have four vehicles with which to tour the area in all hours of the night. "A temporary operations room was set up in Nabi Salah, where complaints about 'Tag Price' operations will be received and they will call in the unit to arrive to the location of the confrontation. If they attempt to enter the villages, our unit will be there to document it and intervene."
The organizers emphasized they will not be armed, but they do rule out the possibility of clashes taking place.
"We will not give up and if needed – we're willing to go to jail," said one of the organizers.
The Popular Committees wished to stress the fact that they are not receiving financial or moral support from the Palestinian Authority. "The government is busy with the diplomatic struggle, but we are the soldiers in the field. It's time to put a stop to the mosque burning," added one of the organizers.
So far the special unit is made up of Palestinian members only, but Extreme leftist activist Yonatan Pollack announced some Israeli and foreign volunteers plan on joining the unit.
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