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On 10 January, over 300 Palestinians set up camp in an Israeli-occupied area north-east of Jerusalem known as ‘E1’. The Israeli government recently authorised the expansion of a large Jewish settlement in E1, which will cut Palestinian East Jerusalem off from the West Bank and make a two-state solution impossible.
The purpose of the Bab al-Shams (‘gate of the sun’) occupation was to create ‘facts on the ground’ by founding a Palestinian settlement on privately-owned Palestinian land. Bab al-Shams appealed to the Israeli high court, which granted a stay of eviction or demolition for six days.
Violating the court order, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered an eviction two days later on 13 January, which was nonviolently resisted by inhabitants chanting: ‘With soul, with blood, we’ll protect Palestine.’ Six needed medical treatment at Ramallah hospital.
After his release from detention, Mohammed Khatib of the occupation’s popular struggle coordination committee said: ‘Bab al-Shams is no more, but during its short days it gave new life and energy to all who passed through it.... In establishing Bab al-Shams, we declare that we have had enough of demanding our rights from the occupier – from now on we shall seize them ourselves.’
Al-Jazeera photo report: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/inpictures/2013/01/20131132164455264.html