Israelis evacuated from outpost built on private Palestinian land

Settlers set tires ablaze at the Amona outpost as Israeli security forces prepare to evict occupants

BBC – There have been scuffles between Israeli protesters and police seeking to evacuate an unauthorised settlement outpost in the occupied West Bank.

Israel’s Supreme Court has ruled that Amona must be demolished because it is built on private Palestinian land.

Hundreds of activists threw stones at police and resisted officers as they moved in to enforce the court order. Injuries were reported on both sides.

The removals started on Wednesday and continued into the night.
Hours earlier, the Israeli government approved plans to build 3,000 new homes at settlements in the West Bank.

It is the third such announcement since the inauguration 12 days ago of US President Donald Trump, who has hinted he will be more sympathetic to settlement construction than his predecessor.

A Palestinian official, Hanan Ashrawi, condemned the latest approval and warned that chances for peace were being destroyed.

More than 600,000 Jews live in about 140 settlements built since Israel’s 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The settlements are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.

There are also more than 95 outposts – settlements built without official authorisation from the Israeli government – across the West Bank.

Located on a hilltop near the settlement of Ofra, north-east of Ramallah, Amona was built in 1996 on land registered as privately-owned by Palestinians.

In 2006, following a decision by the Israeli Supreme Court, nine permanent structures in the outpost were demolished, sparking violent clashes between settlers and security forces.

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