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Israel police, settlers clash in evacuation of illegal outpost

Jewish settlers who reject to leave the settlement, prepare for a possible police intervention as they gather around a synagogue despite the police officers evacuation of the Jewish settlement of Amona north east of Ramallah, West Bank on February 2, 2017 [Ilan Assayag - Anadolu Agency]
Jewish settlers who reject to leave the settlement, prepare for a possible police intervention as they gather around a synagogue despite the police officers evacuation of the Jewish settlement of Amona north east of Ramallah, West Bank on February 2, 2017 [Ilan Assayag - Anadolu Agency]

Israeli paramilitary police dragged dozens of Jewish settlers out of an illegal outpost in the occupied West Bank today and said more than 20 officers were hurt during violent resistance to the evacuation.

Settlers had set up two caravans at the Amona outpost last month.

Two years ago, Amona’s 300 settlers were removed by police after the Supreme Court ruled it had been built illegally and without Israeli government authorisation on privately-owned Palestinian land in 1995.

Police said that in today’s operation, which lasted several hours, at least 23 officers were injured by stones thrown by the settlers, many of them teenagers, or in scuffles, and were taken to hospital for treatment.

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Israeli media reports said at least three settlers were also hurt. At least seven people were arrested for attacking officers, police said.

The evacuation was carried out after the Jerusalem District Court yesterday denied the settlers’ petition against eviction.

Most countries consider all Israeli settlements on land occupied in the 1967 Middle East war to be illegal. Israel disputes this, and last week Israeli authorities issued approvals for more than 2,000 settler homes in the West Bank.

Some 500,000 illegal settlers live in 132 illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, not including East Jerusalem. In addition, a further 106 outposts are scattered across the territory. Though Israel differentiates between settlements – which are built with permission from the Israeli government – and outposts, which are established without government approval, both are illegal under international law which forbids the transfer of civilian populations into occupied territory.

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