HOMESH, West Bank (Reuters) – Israeli police in riot gear removed more than 450 pro-settlement activists on Wednesday who had flocked to an abandoned Jewish settlement in the West Bank, a police spokesman said.
“The police have completed the evacuation of Homesh,” said the spokesman, Micky Rosenfeld. “More than 450 people were taken out of the area. There have been no injuries to report and still no arrests were made.”
Hundreds of right-wing activists had poured into the settlement of Homesh in the northern West Bank earlier this week in what they said was an effort to rebuild the outpost.
In addition to pulling troops and settlers out of the occupied Gaza Strip in 2005, Israel dismantled Homesh, along with three other isolated settlements in the West Bank.
Activists who returned to Homesh over the past several days sang songs and chanted against their removal.
Police in black uniforms and wearing helmets carried away some of the protesters who refused to leave.
Since the dismantling, Israelis have been prohibited from re-entering Homesh, which used to house more than 200 settlers.
The army and police had made no attempt to stop activists from reaching the settlement this week, apparently fearing some would flee into nearby hills and complicate the security situation.
About 270,000 Jewish settlers live in the occupied West Bank among some 2.5 million Palestinians. The World Court has ruled that settlements built on land captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East War are illegal.