Israel approves 3000 new settlement homes
From the Guardian: Israeli security forces began the long-threatened eviction of hundreds of hardline Jewish settlers from the illegal outpost of Amona on the occupied West Bank, hours after the government said it was approving the construction of thousands more settlement homes elsewhere.
The move, by several thousand police who descended on the windswept hilltop on Wednesday morning, came after years of foot-dragging and political controversy over the outpost, which is built on private Palestinian land.
The court-ordered eviction was expected to continue late into the night on Wednesday, as police moved in to drag out hundreds of mainly young supporters from the several dozen prefabricated homes in which they had barricaded themselves.
At least 13 police officers were injured in sporadic clashes with the settlers as teenagers set fires, threw objects and scuffled with officers as they swamped the outpost.
A bulldozer and water cannon were brought up as residents were told to pack up their belongings.
The scenes in Amona, however, stood in sharp contrast to the wider political context where the inauguration of Donald Trump as US president has triggered a surge in settlement building announcements in the last week.
Hours before the operation to seal the outpost of Amona, Israel announced 3,000 new homes in the West Bank settlements.
In total, some 6,000 new settlement homes have been announced since Trump’s inauguration last Friday. Next week, Israel’s parliament is expected to vote on a bill to allow the “legalisation” of a tranche of other illegal outposts built on private Palestinian land.
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