8 injured as Israeli forces clear illegal settlement outpost
Published Tuesday 08/04/2014 (updated) 10/04/2014 23:18
An Israeli flag flutters in the wildcat Jewish outpost of Maale
Rehavam in the heart of the occupied West Bank on May 11, 2006
(AFP/File Samuel Aranda)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Clashes between Jewish settlers and Israeli security forces in the West Bank during the night left eight people including six border guards injured, police said on Tuesday.
"Police came to help soldiers to demolish five illegal constructions near Yitzhar," a settlement in the northern West Bank, police spokeswoman Luba Samri told AFP.
"After they'd finished, several dozen settlers began throwing stones, injuring six border guards," she said.
Police responded by using "riot dispersal means," and two settlers were injured during the clashes, Samri said.
Israel has moved to demolish "wildcat" settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank, which normally consist of a few makeshift dwellings set up by extremist Jewish settlers on Palestinian territory.
There are some 100 wildcat settler outposts erected around the West Bank without Israeli government authorization.
The international community regards all West Bank settlements as illegal, regardless of whether they were built with Israeli authorization.
In a violent confrontation in December 2012, more than 200 stone-throwing settlers drove off an attempt by security forces to dismantle structures put up at "Oz Zion," wounding five border policemen. They were demolished the following day.
But Israel quietly "legalized" several of the wildcat outposts in the same year, according to Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now.
The issue of settlement building has long been a key stumbling block in peace talks between Israel and the PLO.
Israel has pushed forward plans for several thousand new settlement homes in the West Bank during faltering negotiations that US Secretary of State John Kerry kick-started in July.