Members of the socioeconomic protest movement said early Friday that private security guards had torn down their small protest settlement near the entrance to Kibbutz Yakum south of Netanya.

Protesters said the small outpost, home to five people, was razed by about 150 guards armed with bulldozers and dogs, Globes reported.

The small settlement, called Migdal Tzedek, or Justice Tower, was set up in the early hours of July 17 in the style of the stockade and tower towns that defined much of early Zionist settlement. The outpost was reportedly built on government land, and had a tower, fence and tent.

The tower and fence of Kibbutz Nir David in the 1940s. (photo credit: Gigal Magazine/public doman, Wikimedia Commons)

The tower and fence of Kibbutz Nir David in the 1940s. (photo credit: Gigal Magazine/public doman, Wikimedia Commons)

While Jewish settlement was restricted in Mandate Palestine in the 1930s, the British would generally let any existing settlement stand, leading Jewish groups to set up new towns, consisting of a tower and fence, in secret overnight.

This time, protesters say, the private security forced carried out what the British never did.

According to Globes, the private security force, which showed up around 4 a.m. refused to show an official evacuation order and was not accompanied by a police escort.

Police were called to the scene and the Netanya police plan to open an investigation into the incident, the financial paper reported.

While outposts are generally associated with the settler movement, which sets up new settlements without authorization, the construction of Migdal Tzedek was an outgrowth of the social protest movement, which has called for more housing and an answer to cost of living ills.

The protest was most present last summer, as thousands of people set up tents in public spaces across the country. This year the movement has largely failed to take off, held back by public apathy and municipal opposition to the return of the tent cities.