Jewish settlers fight police at West Bank outpost demolition
TEL AVIV - Jewish settlers scuffled with Israeli police in the illegally occupied West Bank on Wednesday in an unsuccessful attempt to stop the demolition of a building at a rogue settlement outpost.
Hundreds of young settlers at Netiv Haavot, in the Etzion settlement bloc, barricaded themselves in a carpentry workshop and resisted orders to leave peacefully.
They set fire to vehicle tyres festooned with barbed wire to try to block access to the building but riot police and border police broke through and carried the protesters away.
"Security forces completed the demolition of the illegal structure," an army statement said.
There were no reports of arrests or injuries.
Several homes at the outpost, a satellite of Elazar settlement - also illegal under international law but considered legitimate by Israel - are also to be demolished by court order, but residents have until March 2018 before the ruling is implemented.
The court accepted Palestinian claims that they were built on private Palestinian land and must be vacated.
About 430,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank -- occupied in the 1967 Six-Day War -- among 2.6 million Palestinians.
All settlements in the occupied West Bank are illegal under international law and seen by a large part of the international community as a main obstacle to peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
The Etzion bloc has over the years grown into a large cluster of settlements south of Jerusalem, and Israeli officials hope for it to form part of Israel under any future peace deal with the Palestinians.