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Violent protests as West Bank outpost evacuated

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Approximately 1,000 Israeli police officers were deployed yesterday as 15 families were evacuated from the illegal West Bank outpost, Netiv Ha’avot.

Thirteen police officers were injured by hundreds of protestors who threw stones and paint at them from the roof of one of the homes, refusing to be evacuated or heed the request from residents to end the violence. One officer was taken to hospital with a head injury.

The majority of residents left quietly, having already agreed with the IDF commander to do so. However, a large number of young people gathered at the settlement to protest the evacuation. A police statement had called on “the leadership to keep showing responsibility and high involvement to facilitate the proper implementation of the court order”.

The evacuation and demolition of the outpost was ordered by the Supreme Court after an extensive legal battle between NGO Peace Now, who argued the outpost was built on private Palestinian land, and the Netiv Ha’avot residents, who argued that the Palestinians were unable to provide proof of ownership. Netiv Ha’avot resident Orit Noy called the decision “incomprehensible” and vowed to “return and rebuild our home here”.

Elsewhere, dozens of people burned tyres and blocked the road to Jerusalem in protest at the evacuation, three of whom were detained by police.

The families have been moved temporarily to a nearby plot of land and the buildings are due to be demolished today.