BEIT IKSA (AFP) - The Israeli army early Monday morning removed a Palestinian protest encampment of four tents and a building under construction near a West Bank village, military sources said. In addition to demolishing the structures near Beit Iksa, on the northwestern outskirts of Jerusalem, "20 Palestinians at the site were evicted without incident," the sources said.

On Sunday night, the army issued "invasion removal orders" to the encampment, saying three of the tents and the building were on land owned by the Jewish state, and the fourth tent was on the route of a planned separation barrier.

Activists on Friday set up the encampment to protest against Israel's intention to confiscate at least 124 acres of land near the village, naming the camp Bab al-Karama, Arabic for Gate of Dignity.  Bab al-Karama was inspired by a separate Palestinian protest camp of 24 tents set up on a disputed piece of land on the eastern outskirts of Jerusalem that was dismantled by police last week.

Activists had established that camp, which they dubbed Bab al-Shams, or Gate of the Sun in Arabic, in a bid to draw attention to Israeli plans to build in the area, known as E1. Meanwhile, at least 20 Palestinians were injured in clashes between protesters and Palestinian security forces at a refugee camp in Ramallah, medical sources said on Monday. Seven members of the security forces, along with 13 protesters, were injured in the clashes at the Amaari camp, they said.

One protester was injured in the leg by live fire, although none of the wounded were in a serious condition, they added.

The clashes erupted Sunday evening after residents of the camp staged a protest over the reported mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners in an Israeli jail, marching out of the camp and blocking a road running alongside it. Security forces arrived at the scene in a bid to reopen the road, and protesters began throwing stones at them, witnesses and security sources said. The witnesses said security forces opened fire in the air before moving to push the protesters back into the camp.

Adnan Damiri, a spokesman for the Palestinian security forces, said officers had moved in to reopen the road, which is a main thoroughfare connecting Ramallah with Jerusalem. "The closure of the main road in this way required the intervention of security forces to reopen it," he said.

The clashes subsided shortly before midnight, witnesses said.

They are the latest incident in which Palestinian protesters have clashed with security forces in the West Bank.

In recent months, clashes have erupted between protesters and security forces in refugee camps near the northern West Bank cities of Jenin and Nablus over a Palestinian Authority bid to collect unauthorised weapons.