Protesters, police clash at evacuated site


Israeli border police clashed with hundreds of settlers Monday at the site of a West Bank outpost evacuated in 2005.

On Sunday hundreds of demonstrators were barred from reaching the former settlement, Homesh, but they infiltrated the site overnight and began building a tower and what they claimed was a synagogue.

Many settlers refused to leave when border police forces arrived, and police used water hoses to disperse them and arrested at least 10 people. Others fled to the surrounding hills and the nearby Palestinian village of Burka, where they hurled rocks at Arab homes. Palestinians responded in kind, and troops had to separate the two groups.

According to news reports, army and security officials warned the demonstrators that they might be sued for the cost of the evacuation operation because instead of being able to train and carry out operational activities, the Israel Defense Forces had to divert resources to “chase the activists” and guard them in a potentially perilous area.

Homesh was one of four West Bank settlements evacuated in 2005 as part of then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s disengagement plan.

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