Last updated: 12 January, 2012

Israeli police demolish settler outpost near Hebron

Israel troops on Thursday demolished an unauthorised settler outpost made up of 10 wooden huts in the southern West Bank, police and the military said.

COGAT spokesman Guy Inbar said forces operating in the early morning had removed “10 illegal structures in Mitzpe Avichai near Kiryat Arba,” a settlement just north of the city of Hebron.

“The structures were partially populated — about nine families were living there,” he said, indicating that the evacuation had been carried out peacefully.

COGAT is the unit within the Israeli defence ministry which administers the occupied West Bank and is responsible for taking down illegally built structures.

Police confirmed the information, saying the operation was carried out “calmly and without a confrontation.”

An AFP correspondent at the scene said around 15 settlers were refusing to leave the site, and police were trying to remove them in order to prevent them rebuilding the outpost.

The outpost was located just north of Kiryat Arba.

Israel considers settlement outposts built without government approval to be illegal and often sends security personnel to demolish them. They usually consist of little more than a few trailers.

The international community considers all settlements built in the West Bank — including east Jerusalem — to be illegal.

Visit our column Midthought for more reflections on how Israeli police deals with Bedouin settlements.