Security forces early Thursday morning evacuated about 20 settler families from the site of the former Sa-Nur settlement in northern Samaria.
The bulk of the families had camped out in large stone building that had survived the destruction of the community 10 years ago during the 2005 disengagement.
Around 3 a.m., a Border Police officer called out over a megaphone asking the settlers and activists to leave the building voluntarily.
“You are here illegally,” he said. “You must evacuate within the next five minutes or we will come in and take you out.”
Video footage from the evacuation showed how officers marched into the structures as settlers and activists waited inside and sang. A number of the activists had also barricaded themselves on the roof of the building.
Additional footage showed officers pushing activists onto a bus taking them to the neighboring Kedumim settlement.
Video footage also showed a number of settlers lying on the ground. Settlers said those activists suffered from burning eyes after Border Police used pepper spray against them.
Many of the families who had camped out at Sa-Nur were former residents of the settlement, who had entered the area earlier in the week to mark the 10th anniversary and had refused to leave. They were joined by dozens of young activists.
In 2005, Israel razed four settlements in northern Samaria along with 21 communities in Gaza. The military withdrawal from Gaza has made it impossible for residents of those communities to physically return to their homes, but Israel maintains military and civil control of northern Samaria.
Settlers from two of the communities destroyed in 2005 – Homesh and Sa-Nur – have spearheaded a drive over the last 10 years to sway the government to rebuild. Until the last few years, the focus had been the site of Homesh.
A small yeshiva, where students study in tents, had been on the site for most of the last decade.