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January 3, 2019 9:34 am

More Than 20 Israeli Police Officers Wounded by Settler Rioters During Evacuation of West Bank Outpost

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

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A pre-fabricated home is lowered onto a tow truck as it is removed during an evacuation by Israeli paramilitary police of Jewish settlers from Amona, an illegal outpost in the West Bank, Jan. 3, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Ronen Zvulun.

Israeli paramilitary police dragged dozens of Jewish settlers out of an illegal outpost in the West Bank on Thursday 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, in what they described as a protest against a recent surge in Palestinian attacks in the West Bank.

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 authorization on privately-owned Palestinian land in 1995.

Police said that in Thursday’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 on Wednesday denied the settlers’ petition against eviction.

Most countries consider all settlements on land Israel took control of in the 1967 Six-Day 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 Israelis live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The two areas are home to more than 2.6 million Palestinians.

While Israel’s settlement projects have regularly drawn condemnation from the Palestinians and in Europe, the US administration under President Donald Trump has taken a largely uncritical public stand.

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