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Settlers Battle Troops Over Illegal Expansion

Israeli settlers rioted and battled security forces during the razing of a West Bank outpost.

The settlers threw stones and rolled burning tires at police and Israel Defense Forces soldiers during the early Thursday morning evacuation of the HaSruga outpost located near the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar, south of Nablus.

Some settlers reportedly also entered Palestinian villages in the area.

The settlers have accused the police of excessive force, according to reports. They also say that security forces hit photographers on the scene to document the evacuation. Single young men living in one of the razed structures were handcuffed and required to turn over their cell phones.

The IDF said in a statement that the actions of the settlers, “directed against the army and its soldiers, divert us from executing our main mission – to defend the State of Israel’s citizens and residents.”

One member of the IDF’s Haredi Netzah Yehuda Battalion reportedly refused to take part in the evacuation because it was done against fellow Jews, Haaretz reported.

A Peace Now report issued Wednesday found that two new settler outposts have been erected in the West Bank with the approval of municipal authorities, which allowed them to be connected to utilities and communal infrastructure.

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