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Soldiers, settlers clash during removal of illegal homes in Yitzhar

Army removes six prefab structures placed on private Palestinian land next to West Bank settlement

Israeli forces remove illegal mobile homes next to the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar on August 22, 2017. (HaKol HaYehudi)
Israeli forces remove illegal mobile homes next to the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar on August 22, 2017. (HaKol HaYehudi)

Israeli forces clashed with settlers overnight Tuesday during the removal of a number of illegal homes near the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar.

Residents of the settlement burned tires and “were violent toward soldiers,” the Defense Ministry unit in charge of administering the West Bank said in a statement.

The troops removed six structures — prefab trailer homes, also known as caravans — that had been placed next to Yitzhar without permits.

A defense official said that the structures had been placed on private Palestinian land outside the settlement’s municipal boundaries. The official also said an additional two structures were dismantled but not removed.

A spokesman for the settlement said the two homes that were dismantled were a part of the Kumi Ori outpost.

The far-right Honenu legal aid group said the IDF did not have the authority to remove the structures as they were placed on land under Palestinian Authority civil jurisdiction, but the army said the removal of the homes was done in accordance with IDF policy.

Yitzhar, south of Nablus, is seen as a center of so-called hilltop youth extremism, and residents there have a history of violent confrontations with the army and police.

In June, the IDF arrested three people during clashes surrounding the demolition of an illegal structure in the settlement.

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