Settlers clash with Israeli forces razing West Bank homes
Owners of Hashmonaim house barricade themselves inside after two neighboring homes demolished.
Israeli security forces clashed with some 100 young protesters as they attempted to demolish a house in the West Bank settlement of Hashmonaim on Thursday.
The forces arrived in the settlement in the early morning and succeeded in razing two illegally built structures, but faced enormous opposition before they were able to demolish a third.
The owners of the 3-story building in question had apparently invested some NIS 2 million in the property. They tried to show the security forces proof that the house had been built legally, but their attempt was rejected.
The family barricaded themselves inside the building for a few hours, leading the troops eventually to evacuate them by force.
Six settlers and three Israel Defense Forces soldiers were lightly injured earlier this week during clashes that erupted when troops arrived to dismantle a synagogue at the illegal West Tapuah outpost in the West Bank. Seventeen settlers were arrested in the scuffle, including a woman who pushed an IDF soldier off the roof of the building.
But the troops made no attempt to move the adjacent trailer homes, bringing accusations that the government is not serious about meeting U.S. demands to dismantle dozens of unauthorized outposts.
The Palestinian Authority has repeatedly said that any attempt by Israel to continue building settlements would negate upcoming peace talks, and has demanded a U.S. guarantee that Israel abide by a construction freeze declared last December.