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Protesting Negev Bedouin throw stones, block train near Segev Shalom

Police in southern Israel say they are dealing with protests by Bedouin, who are apparently angered over tree plantings by the Jewish National Fund-Keren Kayemeth L’Yisrael, including a ceremony in the JNF-controlled Yatir forest attended by MKs earlier in the day.

Two officers are injured while trying to quell the demonstrations near Segev Shalom in the northern part of the Negev desert, a statement says.

“Police at Segev Shalom junction have gained control over the incident,” a police statement says, but notes that police activity is continuing.

Police earlier closed Route 25 from Segev Shalom to Nevatim, just outside Beersheba, due to the protests. According to authorities, protesters hurled stones at a car and a bus on the road and blocked a nearby passenger train by piling rocks on the tracks. The stones were later removed so the train could continue.

Videos and pictures show tires and garbage bins on fire in the road.

“Officers will allow freedom of protest so long as it is within the confines of the law and with no tolerance for those who break it,” police say in a statement.

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