Police demolish Gush Etzion outpost

Violence erupts as police use tear gas to oust barricaded settlers.

amona aerial view 248.88 (photo credit: Peace Now)
amona aerial view 248.88
(photo credit: Peace Now)
After a day of violent clashes between security forces and settlers, the illegal structures located at the unauthorized Neveh Daniel North outpost in Gush Etzion were finally demolished on Wednesday. At the Gush Etzion outpost, police arrested 11 settlers, while four policemen were lightly wounded during the fracas. Two of the policemen required hospital treatment. Settlers attacked security forces with bags of paint, eggs, stones and mud, in an effort to prevent the structures from being demolished. In one instance police were forced to use tear gas to disperse settlers who barricaded themselves inside the only stone dwelling at the outpost after the settlers ignored requests by security forces to leave. Settlers also punctured the tires of an IDF jeep. In the early morning, police, Civil Administration officials and soldiers were confronted by scores of settlers who gathered at the outpost in an effort to prevent bulldozers from demolishing six large concrete slabs - the bases for intended mobile homes - a stone dwelling, fences and an antenna. The settlers failed to prevent the work from starting and by noon three concrete slabs had been destroyed. "Then, scores of settlers streamed to the site and began to interfere with the work, attacked security forces and punctured [the tires of] an IDF jeep," Civil Administration spokesman Lt. Adam Avitan said. As police and soldiers called for backup, settlers pelted the troops with paint, eggs and mud and succeeded in stopping the work. However, by nightfall all the illegal structures had been demolished, he said. "It was a long day, now we are preparing for Amona and the Shalhevet outpost in Hebron, and judging from today we are going to meet with harsh resistance," Avitan said. A statement issued by the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza condemned the use of tear gas by troops and said it was unnecessary to use such measures against Jewish demonstrators. "The demonstrators barricaded themselves inside the house and did not resort to violence or endanger the lives of security forces. The use of tear gas was unnecessary," a Council statement said.
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