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The activists said they pitched the tents on private Palestinian land and immediately obtained an Israeli court injunction preventing the removal of the tents for several days.

At the next court hearing, Israel will have to explain why it wants to take down the tents, said Mohammed Nazzal, a Palestinian Authority official whose department is involved in the legal proceedings. Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said he believes one of the issues in the hearing will be the status of the land where the tents were pitched.

Mr. Barghouti, meanwhile, said troops beat some of the protesters, a claim Mr. Rosenfeld denied. Mr. Rosenfeld said the protesters were carried away without injuries, put onto buses and dropped off at a West Bank checkpoint.

About a half-million Israelis live in the dozens of settlements that dot the West Bank and east Jerusalem. During the past 15 years, Jewish settlers also have set up dozens of rogue settlement outposts without formal approval, and critics say the government has done little to remove them.

• Associated Press writers Karin Laub in Ramallah, West Bank, and Amy Teibel in Jerusalem contributed to this article.