The Times of Israel liveblogged Thursday’s developments as they unfolded.

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Police prepare to enter Amona synagogue

After overnight negotiations to avoid forcible eviction apparently fail, police are now preparing to enter the synagogue where dozens are barricaded at the outpost of Amona.

Most of the outpost’s homes were evacuated in the course of Wednesday and overnight.

Police appeal for those inside Amona shul to leave peacefully

Police issue a final appeal to the dozens of people inside the shul to leave peacefully.

Merav Lapidot, a police spokeswoman, says protesters have piled rocks and slabs close to the synagogue entrance.

Channel 2 shows a cop lightly hurt and bleeding. It also reports a glass bottle was thrown from the synagogue. A fire extinguisher has also been used and paint thrown.

Amona shul protesters attack cop with crowbar

Protesters barricaded in the synagogue at the Amona outpost attack a policeman with a crowbar.

They also turn a fire extinguisher on the officers trying to evacuate the site.

 

 

Police use battering ram to break into Amona synagogue

Police use a battering ram to break down the barricaded entrance to the synagogue at the Amona outpost.

Images on Israeli TV show the police officers forcing their way into the building and using their riot shields to protect themselves from projectiles being hurled from inside.

Police officers use their riot shields to deflect objects thrown by protesters as they try to force their way into the barricaded synagogue at the Amona outpost in the West Bank on February 2, 2017 (screen capture: Channel 2)

Police officers use their riot shields to deflect objects thrown by protesters as they try to force their way into the barricaded synagogue at the Amona outpost in the West Bank on February 2, 2017 (screen capture: Channel 2)

At least 3 cops lightly hurt during evacuation of Amona synagogue

At least three police officers are lightly hurt when they are hit by projectiles hurled at them from inside the synagogue at Amona.

Protesters inside are throwing the contents of the building at officers as they try to remove them as part of the court-ordered evacuation of the site.

Erdan: Amona synagogue protesters are hooligans with no respect for religion

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan slams the protesters attacking police from inside the synagogue at Amona.

“The protesters inside the barricaded synagogue are unworthy hooligans who hold Judaism in contempt and have no respect for religion, the synagogue or rabbis,” Erdan says.

“I expect the police to act decisively to remove them,” he adds.

Police: Real violence, not passive resistance, at Amona synagogue

A police spokesperson slams the protesters barricaded inside the synagogue at Amona for attacking cops trying to evacuate them.

The protesters are engaging in “real violence,” not passive resistance, the spokesperson says.

Police enter Amona synagogue, start removing protesters

Police officers break through the barricades at the Amona synagogue and begin removing the protesters inside.

Police: 5 cops hurt in Amona synagogue evacuation

Protesters injure five police officers during the evacuation of the Amona outpost’s synagogue, attacking them with chemicals, rocks, bottles and wooden boards, police say.

“These outlaws are not respecting the place where they’ve set themselves up,” the police say in a statement.

The police say they will “exercise restraint” so long as protesters refrain from violence, but if the situation deteriorates officers “will be uncompromising and will bring to justice all those who break the law.”

These five officers join 24 others who were injured over the course of the Amona evacuation, starting yesterday.

Police removing last protesters from Amona synagogue

Police officers are removing the last of the protesters who barricaded themselves inside the synagogue at Amona.

Most of the protesters have been taken out already, Channel 2 says.

Police: Amona rioters had dangerous chemicals to use on cops

An Israel Police spokesperson says protesters inside Amona synagogue were holding hazardous chemicals to hurl at cops during their forced evacuation.

“The lawbreakers have no respect for the place in which they are located, and certainly not for the local leadership,” the police said, according to Ynet.

Police: 8 officers hurt in Amona synagogue evacuation

Police say that three more officers have been injured by protesters inside the Amona outpost synagogue, bringing the total up to eight.

According to police, the demonstrators attacked the officers with wooden boards, chemicals, rocks and “other means they had prepared ahead of time.”

— Judah Ari Gross

Police: Tear gas fired at Amona did not come from us

Police spokeswoman Merav Lapidot says the tear gas used during the evacuation of the Amona synagogue was not released by officers.

“We did not use those materials [tear gas]. It was [the protesters] who stockpiled and used these materials. … They used these and other materials against the police. The police continue to treat them with respect, even though just moments ago they threw iron bars at the police.”

Jewish Home MK: Amona protesters crossed ‘red line’ by attacking cops

Jewish Home MK Bezalel Smotrich condemns the violence against police in the evacuation of the Amona synagogue, saying the protesters crossed a “red line.”

Smotrich, who took part in the demonstrations, writes on Twitter that there was comparatively little violence thus far.

“It’s a shame that a tiny minority is doing this and hurting this just and necessary fight,” he says.

— Judah Ari Gross

Far-right activist: Police beat protesters in Amona synagogue

Far-right activist Itamar Ben-Gvir rejects police claims that protesters recently removed from the synagogue at Amona used tear gas on cops, and says officers beat those inside.

“I saw police beating protesters, using tear gas,” Ben-Gvir, who is also a lawyer, tells Channel 2. “There was police violence.”

He also condemns any attacks on police, saying that such action “is painful for me.”

Amona leaders hold final prayers at synagogue

Amona community leaders hold final prayers at the outpost’s synagogue after police officers forcibly remove the protesters barricaded inside.

The outpost has been evacuated in accordance with a High Court order to demolish the community as it is built on privately owned Palestinian land.

Police: 17 officers hurt in Amona synagogue evacuation

Police say in total 17 officers were injured in the evacuation of the Amona settlement’s synagogue.

The building has been fully evacuated, and police are working to remove the final protesters from the hilltop.

— Judah Ari Gross

Jewish Home MK: Attacking security forces is desecration of God’s name

Jewish Home MK Moti Yogev condemns protesters who attacked police during the evacuation at the synagogue at Amona, saying that such acts were a “desecration of God’s name.”

“The central question is whether an act sanctifies God’s name or desecrates God’s name,” he says, according to Walla.

“The demolition of the Amona settlement is undoubtedly a desecration of God’s name and must be protested. But raising a hand against a soldier or policeman, and the violent behavior of some in the synagogue against our brothers the police and the sanctity of a synagogue, are a desecration of God’s name.”

Amona residents claim synagogue rioters were not locals

Amona residents try to distance themselves from the violent actions of the protesters inside the outpost’s synagogue.

A spokesperson for the settlement says none of the people inside the synagogue was actually from Amona.

However, a number of Amona residents, including the outpost’s rabbi along with community leader Avichai Boaran, were inside the synagogue at the time of the clashes between protesters and police.

When confronted with this fact, the Amona spokesperson admits that a number of residents were in the building, but says they were there “with the intention of convincing [the protesters] to leave without violence.”

At some point, though it is not clear exactly when, demonstrators drew a swastika on a wall of the synagogue in a drawing that compared the Israel Police to Nazis.

Graffiti daubed on the wall of Amona synagogue shows a swastika and the slogan 'Ishmael Police' -- a reference to the Israel Police force and to Ishmael, the son of the biblical patriarch Abraham believed by some to be the forebear of today's Arabs. (screen capture: Channel 2)

Graffiti daubed on the wall of Amona synagogue shows a swastika and the slogan ‘Ishmael Police’ — a reference to the Israel Police force and to Ishmael, the son of the biblical patriarch Abraham believed by some to be the forebear of today’s Arabs. (screen capture: Channel 2)

— Judah Ari Gross

4 cops hospitalized for injuries sustained in Amona evacuation

Four of the 17 police officers injured during the evacuation of the Amona outpost synagogue are being treated at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus.

One officer was lightly to moderately wounded in the clashes and suffered a dislocated shoulder, the hospital says.

The other three were lightly injured. One is being treated for burns after acid or another corrosive chemical was thrown in his face. The other two sustained head wounds, a hospital spokesperson says.

— Judah Ari Gross

Police deny using tear gas, say protesters did it

Police deny reports that they had used tear gas during the evacuation of the Amona synagogue, saying the protesters had, in fact, used it against them.

“We would like to stress, that despite the reports, police officers did not use this type of measure,” a police spokesperson says.

“A number of police officers were even injured from the tear gas and suffered light wounds,” she adds.

The spokesperson shares a photograph of a container of tear gas that was found inside the synagogue.

A bottle of tear gas that was reportedly used by protesters inside the Amona synagogue against the police officers trying to evacuate them on February 2, 2017. (Israel Police)

A bottle of tear gas that was reportedly used by protesters inside the Amona synagogue against the police officers trying to evacuate them on February 2, 2017. (Israel Police)

 

— Judah Ari Gross

Detained protesters break bus windows, try to flee

A number of protesters who were taken out of the Amona settlement break the windows of the bus they were being transported in and try to flee the area, but are captured by police, eyewitnesses say.

The bus had stopped outside the adjacent Ofra settlement, as additional demonstrators, some of them people who were removed from Amona the day before, blocked the road.

A photo from the scene shows the front and back windows of the bus broken.

Protesters removed from the synagogue at Amona smash a window to escape after they were placed on a bus by police, during the outpost's evacuation on February 2, 2017 (screen capture: Channel 10)

Protesters removed from the synagogue at Amona smash a window to escape after they were placed on a bus by police, during the outpost’s evacuation on February 2, 2017 (screen capture: Channel 10)

— Judah Ari Gross

PM: We all share in pain of evacuated Amona residents

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the whole country feels the distress of the settlers who were evacuated from Amona, but adds that the evacuation was unavoidable due to the demands of the law.

“We know [these are] difficult days,” he says during a visit to the settlement of Ariel. “We made every effort to avoid getting to this point, but ultimately we abide by the demands of the law because we are a law-abiding nation. I and you all share in the great pain of the families who were forced to leave their homes, who actually had to abandon their lives.”

42 cops, 15 protesters hurt during 2-day Amona synagogue evacuation

A total of 57 people, the majority of them security personnel, were lightly injured during the Amona evacuation efforts yesterday and today and taken to Jerusalem hospitals, the Magen David Adom ambulance service says.

Of them, 42 were police and border guards, and 15 were protesters, MDA says.

The injuries ranged from hypothermia to light bruises. A police officer suffered chemical burns after a liquid was thrown in his face. Another officer’s shoulder was dislocated during the clashes with protesters, a Hadassah Hospital spokesperson says.

One person was also stung by a scorpion, the ambulance service says.

Twenty-seven people were taken to Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus, another 18 were taken to Hadassah Hospital Ein Kermem, and 12 were taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center, MDA says.

— Judah Ari Gross

Jewish Home MK: Bring synagogue vandals to justice

Jewish Home MK Moti Yogev says police must “bring to justice” the protesters who painted a swastika on the walls of the Amona synagogue.

During the evacuation of the illegal West Bank outpost, demonstrators drew graffiti in the synagogue, including one image that compared the police to Nazis, and the words “death to Zionists.”

The drawing, which parodied the Israel Police logo, featured a swastika and changed the name to “Ishmael Police,” a reference to the biblical character traditionally believed to be the ancestor of Muslims.

“Whoever writes ‘death to Zionists’ and draws a swastika on the walls of a synagogue excludes himself from the rest of Israel,” Yogev says, in a statement.

“It is a disgrace that should be investigated, and the criminal should be brought to justice,” he says.

On Wednesday, Yogev had visited the protesters to give them his support.

— Judah Ari Gross

Iran rejects ‘baseless’ warning from Trump

Iran rejects a warning from US President Donald Trump’s administration over its latest missile test as unfounded and “provocative.”

“Claims made by US President Donald Trump’s national security adviser are baseless, repetitive and provocative,” says Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi, state news agency IRNA reports.

Trump tweeted earlier today that the Islamic republic was now formally “on notice” after Sunday’s missile test.

“Iran has been formally PUT ON NOTICE for firing a ballistic missile. Should have been thankful for the terrible deal the U.S. made with them!” Trump wrote, echoing similar comments yesterday by National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

— AFP

Amona protesters escape bus, flee to nearby Ofra

Rioters removed from the synagogue at Amona smash the windows of the bus on which they were placed by police and flee to the nearby settlement of Ofra.

The rioters then blocked the entrance to the community, Channel 2 reports.

Herzog compares Amona synagogue rioters to Duma killers

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog compares the protesters who clashed with police during the evacuation of the Amona synagogue to the radical Jewish group responsible for the Duma firebombing, in which a Palestinian infant and his parents were killed.

“There’s a direct line between the violent rioters that we saw in the last hours of Amona and the underground movement that carried out the Duma massacre. A group of outlaws, with no connection to the law-abiding Amona residents and other settlers,” Herzog says in a statement.

“I said before this painful evacuation, we cannot allow violence of any time, especially not against police officers who are our sons,” he says.

“We must all come together at this time and protect democracy and the rule of law,” Herzog adds.

— Judah Ari Gross

East Jerusalem man jailed for plotting shooting attack on Israelis

An East Jerusalem resident is sentenced to 3.5 years in jail for planning a shooting attack against Israelis.

The Jerusalem District Court hands down the sentence as part of a plea bargain with 26-year-old Muhammad Abasi, Ynet reports.

Police say Abasi also has a history of throwing stones and firecrackers at Israeli cars, and of social media posts praising attacks on Israelis.

Egypt police arrest over 120 fans over soccer riot anniversary

iAn Egyptian lawyer says police have taken 37 soccer fans into custody overnight in Cairo, after arresting 80 others earlier in the day.

Mokhtar Mounir says the 80 were detained on suspicion they had planned to stage a protest to mark the anniversary of a 2012 soccer riot that killed 73 fans.

It wasn’t immediately clear on Thursday why the additional arrests were made.

Fans from Egypt's Al-Ahly soccer club celebrate in Cairo on March 9, 2013, after a court confirms death sentences for 21 people over their roles in the deadly 2012 riot in Port Said that left more than 70 people dead. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

Fans from Egypt’s Al-Ahly soccer club celebrate in Cairo on March 9, 2013, after a court confirms death sentences for 21 people over their roles in the deadly 2012 riot in Port Said that left more than 70 people dead. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

The 2012 riot in Port Said was Egypt’s worst soccer disaster and one of the world’s deadliest. Most of the victims were fans of Al-Ahly soccer club.

The hardcore Al-Ahly fans group known as “Ultras Ahlawy,” banned by authorities, canceled a planned commemoration after some of its members were arrested ahead of the anniversary. Five were charged with inciting protests and belonging to an outlawed group.

— AP

Police chief: We knew non-residents were arriving at Amona

Police chief Roni Alschiech says the police were aware of non-residents arriving at the Amona outpost ahead of its ultimately violent evacuation today and yesterday. These people, he says, were not under the authority of any public or educational leadership.

Israel Radio quoted Alscheich as pledging that police would prosecute all lawbreakers, using evidence gathered by officers during the operation to empty the settlement outpost in line with a court order.

Trump raps Schwarzenegger at National Prayer Breakfast

Trump is seeking prayers for Arnold Schwarzenegger over ratings for “Celebrity Apprentice” — the show the president once hosted.

Addressing the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, Trump says ratings went “right down the tubes,” and the show has been a “total disaster” since the actor and former California governor debuted as host last month.

Trump tells the audience at the prayer breakfast: “I want to just pray for Arnold if we can.”

Responding in a brief video on his Twitter account, captioned “The National Prayer Breakfast?” Schwarzenegger suggests he and Trump switch jobs since Trump is “such an expert in ratings.”

That way, Schwarzenegger says, “people can finally sleep comfortably again.”

— AP

Microsoft said aiding suit against Trump over travel ban

Computer giant Microsoft is helping the attorney general in Washington State with a lawsuit against Trump over his executive order banning citizens from seven Muslim-majority states from entering the US.

Reuters quotes a Microsoft spokesman as saying that the company was providing information about the effect of the executive order, “in order to be supportive.”

The spokesman, Pete Wootton, says the company would be “happy to testify further if needed.”

Sweden ‘strongly condemns’ wave of settlement construction approval

Sweden raps Israel for the recent wave of approval for thousands of houses in West Bank settlements and East Jerusalem, saying the Stockholm government “strongly condemns” the move.

“The settlements constitute a flagrant violation of international law and contravene Security Council resolution 2334 on Israeli settlements, adopted on 23 December 2016,” the statement says, singling out the homes planned for East Jerusalem as “highly problematic.”

IDF officer loses promotion after documents stolen from car

IDF Chief Gadi Eisenkot cancels the promotion of an IDF colonel, who had classified documents stolen from his car last month, the army says.

On January 19, Col. Zaki Yefet was suspended from his position as chief engineering officer of the Northern Command, after a thief broke into his car, stealing sensitive documents and an encrypted army cell phone.

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot speaks at a conference at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya January 2, 2017. (Flash90)

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot speaks at a conference at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya January 2, 2017. (Flash90)

Yefet is cleared to return to his current position. But after a conversation with Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, head of the Northern Command, Eisenkot decides to halt the planned appointment of Yefet to chief operations officer of the IDF Northern Corps, the army says.

Without this promotion, Yefet is now expected to retire from the military after he completes his tenure as chief engineering officer in February 2018.

The IDF Military Police’s investigation into the break-in and theft is ongoing, the army says.

— Judah Ari Gross

Paul Ryan says he is open to tighter Iran sanctions

House Speaker Paul Ryan says he would be amenable to further sanctions on Iran over its recent test of ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

“I’d like to put as much toothpaste back in the tube as possible,” Ryan tells reporters, accusing the Obama administration of “appeasing” the regime in Tehran.

“I think the last administration appeased Iran far too much,” he says. “I think they went too far with Iran and I think as a result Iran is far more activist than it otherwise would be.

“Iran don’t forget … is the biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world. Iran writes on their missiles in Farsi, Hebrew and English ‘Death to America’, ‘Death to Israel’ and then tests them. So this is not a friendly country that has global peace or national security interests in their minds.”

3 hurt in suspected car-ramming in West Bank

Three civilians are lightly wounded when a Palestinian rams her car into their vehicle and the gate at the entrance to the West Bank settlement of Geva Binyamin, north-east of Jerusalem.

“The attacker injured three civilians who have been evacuated to a hospital to receive medical treatment. The assailant is being treated and questioned at the scene,” the IDF says.

“At first we thought it was an accident, but from what I understand, she confessed [to it being deliberate],” an army spokesperson tells The Times of Israel.

— Judah Ari Gross

Jerusalem hospital treating 3 people following car-ramming

Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus says it is treating the three people lightly hurt in this evening’s car-ramming attack in the West Bank.

The hospital identifies the three as two people aged 52 and another man aged 34.

Rescue personnel attend the scene of a car-ramming attack in the West Bank that left three people wounded on February 2, 2017 (Photo: United Hatzala)

Rescue personnel attend the scene of a car-ramming attack in the West Bank that left three people wounded on February 2, 2017 (United Hatzala)

McCain calls Australian envoy after stormy Trump-Turnbull talk

Senior Republican Senator John McCain seeks to assure Australia that the United States remains a staunch ally following a tense discussion between President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over refugees.

McCain says in a statement that he spoke with Joe Hockey, Australia’s ambassador to the US, and expressed his “unwavering support for the US-Australia alliance.” The move came as Trump stressed the need for “tough” talk to make sure other nations don’t take advantage of the United States.

McCain, now in his sixth term in the Senate, has emerged as Trump’s top Republican nemesis in Congress. While GOP leaders on Capitol Hill have largely refrained from scolding the new president, McCain hasn’t been shy about calling Trump out.

— AP

3 hurt in West Bank car-ramming identified as 2 cops, civilian

The IDF identifies the three people wounded in tonight’s car-ramming in the West Bank as two police officers and a civilian.

Hundreds protest against Netanyahu in Tel Aviv

Some 1,500 people attend a protest in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square against Netanyahu, calling for his resignation over his numerous corruption investigations, Ynet reports.

The protesters carry signs reading: “The emperor has no clothes” and “What will you leave behind for our children?”

Trump: Nothing off the table when it comes to Iran

Trump tells reporters that “nothing is off the table” regarding the US response to Iran’s recent ballistic missile test, Reuters reports.

The comments come hours after the president tweets that the Islamic republic has been “formally put on notice” by the US over its tests.

 

Palestinian mayor vows new court bid to evict settlers

The mayor of Silwad, the West Bank town adjacent to the newly evacuated outpost of Amona, intends to petition Israel’s High Court to evacuate homes built on private Palestinian land in the nearby settlement of Ofra.

Silwad Mayor Abdul Rahman Saleh tells The Times of Israel that after winning the court battle to evacuate Amona, they are now “going to evacuate the settlers from Ofra.”

He adds: “It will take time, but I will try.”

Noting that Ofra was originally founded on a Jordanian military base, the mayor says he would be willing to accept the presence of Israeli soldiers there, but that the private Israeli homes are illegal and illegitimate.

— Dov Lieber