Israel removes settlers from illegal West Bank settlement outpost
Hard-line Jewish settlers had set up two caravans at the Amona outpost last month, two years after hundreds were evicted from the hilltop site following a court ruling that the outpost was built on privately-owned Palestinian land.
Settlers threw stones, burned tires and threw iron bars at police officers who attempted to remove them, injuring more than 23, Israeli media reported.
One officer was stabbed in the hand, while four settlers were also injured during the violent clashes.
The evacuation was carried out after a court ruling on Wednesday rejected the settlers' petition against eviction.
Amona outpost was dismantled in early 2017, but Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed to build a new settlement to replace it.
Pro-settlement hard-liners who dominate Netanyahu's coalition and oppose Palestinian statehood on security or religious grounds had pressed him to keep that promise.
The decision to evacuate the illegal Amona outpost had threatened to tear apart Netanyahu's coalition government.
Work began on the Amichai settlement in the occupied West Bank in early 2018, the first new government-sanctioned settlement since 1991.
Under international law, all settlement construction is illegal, but Israel distinguishes between those it sanctions and those it does not, such as outposts.
Settlers have, however, built homes without legal permits since 1991, with the Israeli government retroactively legalising them.
Some 500,000 Jewish settlers live in more than 196 settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Israel has launched a new settlement push in the occupied West Bank since US President Donald Trump took office, laying the groundwork for what could be the largest construction binge in years.
Agencies contributed to this report.
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