Israel evicts settlers from Migron outpost in West Bank

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 02, 2012 10:33 AM
Israel evicts settlers from Migron outpost in West Bank

MIGRON, West Bank (Reuters) - Israeli settler families were on Sunday evicted from an outpost in the occupied West Bank after a court ruled that it had been built illegally on Palestinian land.

Police said the settlers left the site quietly for temporary housing at another settlement, but eight youths who came to the Migron outpost to protest against the eviction were arrested.

The Supreme Court had ruled that Migron, home to 50 families, had been built illegally on privately-owned Palestinian land.

The United Nations deems all Israeli settlements in the West Bank to be illegal. Israel disputes this and distinguishes between about 120 settlements it has sanctioned and about 100 outposts erected by settlers without authorization.

Migron is one of the largest outposts built without permission in the West Bank, territory Israel captured in a 1967 war and which Palestinians seek as part of a future state.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing government, which counts settlers among its core supporters, negotiated with settler leaders to avoid confrontation at Migron.

Migron's structures are due to be razed by September 11.

"We are committed to the rule of law in this country," Netanyahu said after the settlers left.

The court had delayed several deadlines set for evacuating Migron in the past year after last-minute appeals, and Israeli authorities had been concerned that settlers could respond violently.

About 311,000 Israeli settlers and 2.5 million Palestinians live in the West Bank.

(Writing by Ori Lewis, editing by Diana Abdallah)