Last updated: 14 February, 2013

Israeli outpost demolition sparks settler protests

Israeli authorities demolished several buildings at a wildcat settlement outpost in the southern West Bank but the supreme court later issued a temporary injunction against further such action.

It did not publish a reason for the injunction.

Wednesday’s demolition of six mobile homes at Maale Rehavam, in the Gush Etzion group of settlements south of Jerusalem, sparked angry protests by settlers and supporters who scuffled with police outside parliament and temporarily blocked Jerusalem streets.

“Roads at the entrance to Jerusalem were blocked for a short while, police intervened and dispersed the people gathered there,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP, adding a police car was damaged and three people were briefly detained.

He said the demolition at Maale Rehavam was itself carried out without incident.

Outside Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, police wrestled to the ground demonstrators who refused orders to disperse and removed some from the site by force, an AFP journalist said.

Settler website Arutz Sheva said Jewish protesters blocked the road to the West Bank city of Ramallah and it quoted an unnamed source as saying that some of them smashed windows and slashed tyres of Palestinian-owned vehicles.

Israel differentiates between “legal” settlements and “illegal” outposts set up without government permission, but the international community views all settlement activity on occupied Palestinian territory as a violation of international law.

The Palestinians refuse to hold peace talks while Israel builds on land they want for a future state.