Israel evicts settlers from illegally built West Bank homes

AP News
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Posted: Jun 12, 2018 4:07 PM
Israel evicts settlers from illegally built West Bank homes

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli police on Tuesday evacuated Jewish settlers from 15 homes built illegally on private Palestinian land in the West Bank.

Police said some 500 protesters demonstrated against the evacuation, with some throwing stones and bottles at police and several dozen barricading themselves in one house. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said six officers were wounded in the scuffles and that police arrested three protesters.

Protesters opposed to the move also blocked the entrance to Jerusalem, snarling traffic.

Rosenfeld said the evacuation of most of the houses proceeded smoothly, with families leaving their homes without resisting.

After the eviction, Israeli forces are expected to demolish the structures in the Netiv HaAvot unauthorized outpost. The government says it will compensate the residents and rebuild their homes on nearby lands that are not privately owned.

Israel's Supreme Court ordered the eviction in 2016, saying the homes were illegally built on private Palestinian land while not determining the precise ownership of the land. A law passed last year legalizing dozens of settler outposts in the West Bank is currently being challenged at the High Court.

Israel captured the West Bank along with east Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 war and today about 600,000 settlers live in those areas. Most of the international community considers settlements to be either illegal or illegitimate.

The Palestinians seek the territories along with the Gaza Strip for their hoped-for state.