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Israeli police evacuate illegal West Bank settlement after high court ruling

[JURIST] Israeli police Wednesday forcibly evacuated a West Bank Jewish settlement [BBC report] at Amona and demolished nine houses illegally built on Palestinian land after the Israeli Supreme Court [official website, English version] rejected a last-minute appeal by residents. The outpost, along with many others, was set for evacuation under the road map peace plan [PDF text], which calls for the removal of all unauthorized settlements constructed since March 2001. Last November, Israel's High Court ruled that the Amona settlement should be demolished, rejecting settlers' arguments that their homes were built with permission from the Israeli government. A 2005 Israeli government study concluded that 105 Jewish settlements on the West Bank are illegal [JURIST report] and should be immediately removed. Earlier this month Israeli Interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert [official profile] asked his defense minister to draw up a plan [JURIST report] for removing the remaining 24 settler outposts. As Israeli troops evacuated the Amona settlement Wednesday, protestors clashed with police in the most violent protests since the general Gaza pullout [JURIST news archive] last year. AP has more.

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