'Battle of the mountain': Palestinian anti-settlements protesters persevere in Beita amid calls for 100,000-strong march on Mount Sabih

'Battle of the mountain': Palestinian anti-settlements protesters persevere in Beita amid calls for 100,000-strong march on Mount Sabih
Palestinian protesters are urging a 100,000-strong march on Mount Sabih amid threats of Israeli settlement expansion.
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Palestinians have been demonstrating against the Givat Eviatar settlement on Mount Sabih [JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP/Getty]

Palestinians have continued their anti-settlements demonstrations in Beita, a village in the Nablus Governorate in the occupied West Bank, as activists urge a mass descent on the area.

Night-time protests began there last week, Reuters reported.

During the locals' stand against illegal settlements late on Wednesday, Israeli forces reportedly injured some young residents, according to Arabi21.

The Arabic-language outlet said protesters in the West Bank village are now using the slogan "the battle of the mountain" to describe their everyday fight.

This is an apparent reference to Mount Sabih, which straddles Beita and other villages and is under threat of Israeli settlement activity.

Palestinians across the West Bank have been urged by campaigners to get involved and come to Mount Sabih on Thursday evening.

Those in Beita and nearby Beit Dajan who made the request are appealing for 100,000 Palestinians to turn out.

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They plan to use a so-called "night confusion" strategy, which in Gaza has included the use of blaring sounds and setting fire to tyres.

Since night protests started last week, smoke from tyres has engulfed settler houses.

"We come at night, we light up the mountain, to send them a message that they can't have even an inch of this land," Reuters reported one masked Palestinian as saying this week.

He lit fires while others flashed laser pointers to dazzle the settlers in their homes.

The Popular Resistance Committees have urged that these methods be adopted, Arabi21 reported.

Also on Wednesday, Israel closed off all access to Mount Sabih, the official Palestinian Wafa news agency reported.

According to Beita's deputy mayor, Mousa Hamayel, Israeli forces used bulldozers to create the blockage.

Hamayel insisted that this would not prevent locals from intensifying their resistance against the illegal occupation.

Wafa added that locals from Beita and other nearby areas have been demonstrating each Friday against the building of the Givat Eviatar settlement on Mount Sabih.

They are also fighting land theft from Beita in addition to Huwarra and Zatara to create a road for the exclusive use of settlers.

Israeli authorities have used aggressive means to disrupt the protests.

There have been five Palestinian fatalities and over 600 wounded amid during demonstrations in close to a month.

The Palestinian agency also reported that two of the villages concerned, Beita and Huwarra, together with Burn saw five Palestinians detained in total on Thursday.

It cited information from deputy mayor Hamayel and Huwarra Fatah spokesperson Awad Najm, as well as unnamed residents.

Hamayel noted that weapons were fired in Beita, though it was not clear from the reporting who was responsible.

The deputy mayor also said five tyres were taken away by the Israelis.

On Wednesday, it was reported that 31 of 33 building proposals for illegal settlements were authorised, the first under Israel's new far-right premier, Naftali Bennett.

These included a shopping mall in Mishor Adumim, an industrial zone in Maale Adumim, near Jerusalem.

(The New Arab, Reuters)