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Last settlers removed from Amona synagogue after putting up 'strong resistance'

Des policiers israéliens sortent d'une synagogue un colon qui refuse d'évacuer la colonie d'Amona, le 2 février 2017 en Cisjordanie
Thomas COEX (AFP)
At least 17 police officers injured during Thursday's evictions, in addition to the 24 injured on Wednesday

Israeli police on Thursday cleared the last remaining settlers who barricaded themselves inside the community synagogue in the West Bank outpost of Amona, but were met with "strong resistance" in the process.

Over 60 police officers were wounded throughout the eviction operation, law enforcement said.

People attempted to negotiate overnight and into the morning hours of Thursday with an estimated 100 people who were holed up inside the building, urging them to leave voluntarily. After they refused, police entered the building by force to compete the outpost's eviction.

"A short time ago the synagogue was emptied, completing the evacuation of Amona," police Spokeswoman Luba Samri said in a statement. "Police officers acted to remove the last of the reclusive youths in the building and bring them to buses."

"While entering the building the officers were met with strong resistance, particularly violence- including youths throwing stones, fire extinguishers, paint bottles, boards and other objects at the police," the statement continued.

Shai Ben Ari/ i24NEWS

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) on Tuesday ordered all residents to evacuate within 48 hours, ahead of the outpost's court mandated demolition by February 8.

Amona, home to about 40 families, was built on lands privately owned by Palestinians, who successfully petitioned Israeli courts for the outpost's removal.

All settlements are considered illegal under international law, but Israel differentiates between those it has approved and those it has not.

Settlements such as Amona are called outposts -- those that Israel has not approved.

Shai Ben Ari/ i24NEWS



Thomas COEX (AFP)

Read more: Netanyahu orders creation of new settlement to house evicted outpost residents

Palestinians demand UN respond to 'barrage' of Israeli settlement construction

Thursday 2 February 2017
2:00 PM
After over 24 hours evacuation comes to a close
12:54 PM
Dozens of trucks from the Ministry of Defense arriving to clear residents' belongings
12:12 PM
15 civilians hospitalized for frostbite, bruising, weakness, dehydration, a scorpion bite, and facial injuries from pepper spray
12:10 PM
Total of 57 people, including 42 security forces personnel taken to the hospital: Medical services
11:54 AM
Evacuees from the synagogue broke bus windows which were evacuated and fled
11:50 AM
The police's Judea and Samaria Division chief reportedly confirms that over 60 officers were wounded during the eviction operation.
10:50 AM
Police Spokeswoman Luba Samri: "While entering the synagogue officers were met with strong resistance, particularly violence included throwing stones, fire extinguishers, paint bottles, boards and other objects at the police."

She adds that "So far 17 policemen were injured while evacuating the building, in addition to the 24 police officers injured on Wednesday."
10:39 AM
Police say they are in complete control of the synagogue, no settlers remain inside
10:23 AM
Several settlers injured- unclear exactly how many
10:23 AM
Police update: Eight officers injured
10:21 AM
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan: "The protesters inside the barricaded synagogue are unworthy hooligans who hold Judaism in contempt and have no respect for religion, the synagogue or rabbis. I expect the police to act decisively to remove them.”
10:09 AM
Several settlers carried out of building to buses
10:07 AM
Medics treating several police experiencing a burning sensation in their eyes. Unconfirmed reports of tear gas being used against officers.
9:51 AM
Firefighters enter the synagogue, followed by police
9:48 AM
Five police injured so far in second day of evictions
9:39 AM
Police met with a barrage of objects as they break through synagogue's second door
9:37 AM
One policeman injured in the head during synagogue eviction, still conscious
9:35 AM
Police working to open a second door into the synagogue on the building's north side.
9:29 AM
i24NEWS correspondent at the scene describes smoke coming out of the entrance of the synagigue
9:10 AM
Police enter synagogue to remove settlers barricaded inside in final push to evacuate Amona outpost. Synagogue doors have been removed but other barriers remain an obstacle for police.
8:40 AM
Efforts are still ongoing to try and reach a solution and convince at least some of those barricaded in the synagogue to leave voluntarily. Police say the hardcore activists have prevented this so far.
8:06 AM
Police have finished removing around dozen settlers barricaded in building next to synagogue, are preparing to begin with synagogue evictions.
7:04 AM
MK Smotrich tells i24NEWS: "The Supreme Court is spitting in face of government and over and over again... Whoever thinks they can weaken our hold on the West Bank through court appeals is mistaken."
6:37 AM
An i24NEWS correspondent at the scene says that there are also youths holed up in a building adjacent to the synagogue.
6:34 AM
There are concerns that youths have collected hazardous and flammable materials inside the synagogue to use during eviction
6:31 AM
Police arrive at Amona synagogue to begin evicting final settlers barricaded inside
6:02 AM
Some people inside the synagogue are reported to have chained themselves to the walls or furniture
6:01 AM
According to an i24NEWS correspondent in Amona, settlers inside the synagogue are throwing objects and liquids at journalists through the windows.
5:43 AM
Police have surrounded the synagogue, prepare to move in as people barricaded inside show no sign of leaving.
5:19 AM
Ynet news reports 25 people have been treated for injuries sustained during evictions, including police and civilians
4:55 AM
Jewish Home MK Bezalel Smotrich told Walla! news he hopes that the synagogue eviction will go ahead with "sensitivity and humanity."

"The event is difficult, sad and painful," he said. "Protest and outcry is a legitimate thing, I'm glad the police also understand this and are acting with sensitivity and humanity. I hope that they will continue to do so with the evacuation of the synagogue."
3:43 AM
Israeli media reports say all homes evacuated, dozens of people remain holed up inside synagogue.
Wednesday 1 February 2017
6:49 PM
The last five homes in Amona are currently being evacuated, according to Israeli media.
Several dozen people remain barricaded inside the settlement's synagogue and it is unclear when authorities intend to remove them.
4:24 PM
Prime Minister Netanyahu has ordered the formation of a team to promote the construction of a new settlement to house evacuated Amona residents.
2:44 PM
Education Minister Naftali Bennett says that a new settlement should be constructed for Amona residents in the wake of the court's overturning of the plan for their resettlement.
2:17 PM
Police now say some 20 officers were wounded throughout the day and 13 young people have been arrested.
2:15 PM
Israel's High Court of Justice has accepted a Palestinian appeal calling for the cancellation of a plan to resettle Amona's residents to adjacent land plots.
1:25 PM
Police now say that contrary to their previous announcement, the evacuation will continue through the night.
12:51 PM
Reports say the number of wounded has risen to 16, with a female police officer suffering moderate wounds.
12:41 PM
Police say evacuation will end for the day come nightfall and will continue in the morning.
11:56 AM
Police say 15 officers have been lightly injured and that nine families, including 33 children, were evacuated peacefully.
11:23 AM
A legal firm communicating with protesters says they have been contacted in relation to 20 separate arrests.

Radical right-wing activist Barouch Marzel said to be among those arrested.
10:30 AM
Unverified reports say protesters are threw bleach in the faces of police officers
10:17 AM
Seven families have left Amona "of their own will," police say
10:16 AM
Israeli media reports that police have begun entering homes
9:50 AM
Police spokesman says 10 officers lightly injured during disturbances, treated by medics on the scene
9:49 AM
Police officer led away from outpost after refusing to take part in evictions
9:25 AM
At least five people arrested
9:12 AM
Reports of several police officers injured as rocks thrown at them, hit with material causing a burning sensation in their eyes. Police describe agitators as "anarchists."
8:55 AM
In Knesset plenum Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennet says the eviction of Amona will lead to annexation of the West Bank.

“From this legal defeat we will establish a new legal regime in Judea and Samaria that will regulate the entirety of settlements, and from the painful loss of this foothold in this mountain will emerge the State of Israel’s application of sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria,” he said.
8:18 AM
Zionist Union MKs Tzipi Livni and Isaac Herzog call for a peaceful evacuation of Amona
7:52 AM
Police say eviction operation expected to take 6-8 hours
7:43 AM
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotoveli: "The evacuation is a difficult moment because the concept of the rule of law today has become hollow. Instead of the rule of law embodying values such as justice, morality and common sense, it embodies today a decision that will not benefit any Palestinian, but deeply hurts families of settlers who came to the land with the consent of the State of Israel."
7:36 AM
Police spokesperson: "Israeli police continued throughout the night and this morning a continuous dialogue with the settlers and their leaders in order to continue to promote the evacuation agreement according to their commitment to the High Court.
The Israeli police will strive to carry out the evacuation without the use of force as is customary, to the extent that violence is not used against police."
7:21 AM
Zionist Union MK Ayelet Nachmias Verbin condemns MK Smotrich's rape comparison.

"Rape is against the rules of morality and law and cannot be compared to the evacuation of Amona which is the enforcing of the law according to the High Court's ruling," she said.
7:18 AM
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan urges residents to allow police to do their jobs, calls on Israeli politicians to calm the situation and refrain from statements or actions that might "exacerbate the situation."
7:12 AM
Amona resident Elad Ziv to i24NEWS: "This a very very bad thing- a black day for the state of Israel and for the government. They are demolishing a whole settlement for nothing."

"The prime minister and his ministers are responsible for what is happening here. They promised us that if there was no solution to Amona they will build a new settlement for us and they have to keep their promise."
6:57 AM
Family surrenders bag of weapons, including stun grenades and flares, to police
6:50 AM
Busses of policemen moving in to evacuate homes
6:45 AM
Police say operation to evict residents has begun
6:39 AM
Amona residents "raise the alert" as police forces approach outpost, encourage people to lock themselves in houses and community synagogue
6:19 AM
Israel's prison service has prepared to receive demonstrators arrested in Amona
6:15 AM
Housing Minister Yoav Galant tells Ynet news "confrontation between settlers and IDF forces is a very serious matter, and everything should be to avoid it. Events of past evacuations must not be repeated. Even though my heart hurts, I know there is a solution for the residents."
4:45 AM
Jewish Home MK Moti Yogev: "For every home evacuated in Amona we will build hundreds and thousands in the West Bank."
4:39 AM
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked tells Israel's Kol BaRama radio that "We have done the maximum possible, and the residents of Amona know it."
4:28 AM
Jewish Home MK Bezalel Smotrich: "What they [the government] are doing here and now is brutal rape- Forcing innocent people from their own homes. The judiciary is raping us, forced by the government and elected officials."
4:27 AM
IDF has reportedly notified residents that they still have a chance to leave voluntarily before police enter the outpost
4:25 AM
i24NEWS correspondents in Amona say around 1,500 residents and activists have gathered in Amona to protest evacuation
4:11 AM
Channel 2 news reports that 3,000 police and border guards have been mobilized for Amona evacuation
4:02 AM
Reports of Israeli youth throwing stones and burning tires at entrances to the outpost



"While entering the building the officers were met with strong resistance, particularly violence- including youths throwing stones, fire extinguishers, paint bottles, boards and other objects at the police," Had these been Palestinian youths several of the stone throwers would have been shot. Should we expect those that threw stones to stand trial for attempted murder?