Torches light up battle over Israeli settlement

Green laser beams and flaming torches light up the night sky, punctuated by the chants of angry Palestinians.

They are waging a battle to stop a new Jewish settlement in a remote part of the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

These "Night Disruption" protests, south of Nablus, aim to halt the rapid growth of a settler outpost called Givat Eviatar, that began in early May.

During demonstrations that began last week, burning tires have engulfed settler homes in acrid smoke.

The Palestinians come with a clear message for the 53 Israeli families that live here - this is our land, not yours.

"We are the night disrupting unit, our aim is to dismantle this settlement, now during the day. The unit for tires is usually situated in the other area, and at night we come and burn tires here like you see, to send the settlers a message that they do not own any of this land. This is our fifth time here, not the first time. We have evicted them four times and this is the fifth, and soon we will push them into the trash bin of history."

The Israeli military says it faced "hundreds of Palestinians" threatening its troops.

Palestinian officials say Israeli troops have shot dead five Palestinians during stone-throwing protests since the settlement was set up.

Givat Eviatar resident Eli Shapira says the settlers will not be intimidated.

"They won't drive us away from here because again this is our homeland, this is our forefathers land. We love the land we want to be here. We know they come out of hate. They hate us. They hate the land. They hate everything. Ok it is fine if they want to hate, they won't stay here. They wont survive here -- anyone who comes out of hate. We come out of love."

Construction at Givat Eviatar is still ongoing.

Families there live in caravans.

Some roads are already paved, others are lined with electricity cables.

The settlers named the outpost after Eviatar Borovsk - an Israeli stabbed to death in 2013 by a Palestinian at a nearby junction.

It was set up without government authorization, which makes it illegal under Israeli law.

That presents an early test for new Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett - once a senior leader of the settler movement and the head of a far-right religious party, who now leads a coalition that spans both right and left.

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