Multiple injuries as police, civilians clash in Armona

January 4, 2019 by JNS
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Multiple police officers and Israeli civilians were wounded on Thursday morning as altercations broke out between law enforcement and Israelis who had attempted to return to the unregistered outpost of Amona in Samaria.

Young Israelis seen at the former outpost of Amona in Samaria, which was evacuated nearly two years ago. Dec. 16, 2018. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90.

Some 23 police officers and four Jewish residents were injured.

According to reports, the civilians had barricaded themselves in two caravans situated at the former outpost and were extracted against their will by police.

Amona was forcibly evacuated less than two years ago after the courts found in favour of Palestinian plaintiffs, who claimed that the land on which the community was built belonged to them. However, after a series of recent terror attacks in the area that took the lives of two Israel Defense Forces’ soldiers and a premature baby, several dozen young activists returned to Amona, bringing caravans.

Police reported that the citizens were throwing rocks and objects at law enforcement, as well as burning tires. Seven people were arrested.

Some five Israel Border police officers and one civilian were taken to hospital for additional treatment.

The hilltop was ultimately evacuated, and police set to work removing the caravans.

The citizens argued that the caravans were situated on plots of land that former Amona residents purchased from Palestinians with the support of private donors and that they had been erected during a ceremony attended by members of the government, including Knesset member Bezalel Smotrich and Shomron Regional Council head Yossi Dagan.

At the time, activists petitioned the High Court of Justice for a temporary order to be allowed to stay at Amona, but were rejected by the court, which told them they had 48 hours to evacuate. The deadline expired on Wednesday night.

JNS

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