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Israeli forces finalise Amona outpost evacuation

The synagogue was the final building which was cleared by security officials

Israeli forces finalised the evacuation of Amona today, clearing out remaining protesters from its synagogue, the last building in the illegal outpost where settlers and their supporters had remained entrenched after a day of violent resistance by settlers and their supporters.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said in a statement this morning that police forces had been "talking to leaders of the community to deal with the situation and complete the evacuation of the synagogue without major incidents."

Israeli newspaper Haaretz that police forces had breached the barricades preventing them from entering the synagogue after negotiations failed, and evacuated the last opponents to the outpost's relocation. The news outlet stated that smoke was coming out of the synagogue during the raid.

Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Al-Samri stated that protesters remaining in the synagogue had thrown fire extinguishers, paint cans and wood planks at Israeli forces.

Rosenfeld said that eight police officers were injured during the takeover of the synagogue, in addition to 24 police officers who had been lightly injured since yesterday by Israeli protesters who threw stones, furniture and unspecified irritating liquids at Israeli forces.

Read more: Settlers cause closure of checkpoint near Nablus in retaliation of Amona evacuation

Al-Samri said that the Israeli protesters' behaviour showed their "disrespect" of the synagogue as a place of worship, and stated that Israeli police was trying its best to maintain order and not resort to violence.

According to the police, 13 Israelis were detained for "throwing stones at police officers and being involved in disturbances" yesterday, and 800 people had been "removed from the area" during the evacuation.

Hundreds of Israelis gathered yesterday to oppose the evacuation and demolition of Amona, which was ordered by the Israeli Supreme Court on the grounds that the outpost was built on private Palestinian lands.

The Amona outpost which, like other settlement outposts, is illegal both under international and Israeli law, was slated for demolition following a 2008 Israeli Supreme Court decision, after eight Palestinians from neighbouring villages successfully petitioned to remove the outpost on grounds that the construction was carried out on privately owned Palestinian land.

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