Monday 19 November 2018

Settlers thrown off Palestinian land

Israeli police evict Jewish settlers at the West Bank settlement of Netiv Ha’avot yesterday after Israel’s Supreme Court ordered the eviction. Photo: AP
Israeli police evict Jewish settlers at the West Bank settlement of Netiv Ha’avot yesterday after Israel’s Supreme Court ordered the eviction. Photo: AP

Israeli police have started evacuating Jewish settlers from 15 homes built illegally on private Palestinian land in the West Bank.

Dozens of settlers protested with some throwing stones and bottles at police.

Police said three officers were lightly wounded in the scuffles and police arrested two people. Protesters opposed to the move also blocked the entrance to Jerusalem, jamming traffic.

A spokesman said the evacuation proceeded mostly smoothly, with families leaving their homes without resisting.

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

Israel's supreme court ordered the eviction because the homes were built on private Palestinian land. A law passed last year legalising dozens of settler outposts in the West Bank is being challenged at the High Court.

Israel captured the West Bank and east Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 war and today approximately 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.

Meanwhile, an Israeli cabinet minister says the meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un was important for the Middle East.

Yuval Steinitz said that North Korea giving up its nuclear weapons would send a "strong" signal to Iran.

He says it would "increase the pressure on Iran" to give up its nuclear infrastructure and capabilities.

Israel has staunchly opposed the deal between Iran and world powers meant to curb its nuclear programme, which the US withdrew from last month.

Both the US and Israel hope Trump's withdrawal can lead all sides into addressing what they say are the deal's shortcomings.

Irish Independent

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