Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Israel's Defense Ministry began the demolition of the West Bank outpost of Amona, four days after police evacuated 42 families.
The razing of the community Monday came after years of legal dispute. The Israeli Supreme Court determined the Israelis illegally constructed on proven in court to be owned by Palestinians. It was one of dozens of Jewish outposts in the West Bank.
The fate of Amona became a flashpoint in Israeli politics. Thousands of demonstrators traveled to the area last week and police reported injuries to 32 officers enforcing the eviction order. Some right-wing members of Israel's government worked to stop the demolition.
Razing of prefabricated homes began Monday. Amona's synagogue is scheduled for demolition after the removal of items of religious significance. Some of the buildings were carried away with cranes and will be installed in another nearby settlement created for the displaced residents.
The international community is critical of the homesteading effort, regarding them as built on territory destined to be a Palestinian state, should a two-state solution occur. Israel divides the communities between those it sanctions, called settlements, and outposts, those it does not. The Israeli parliament Monday worked to finalize a bill retroactively legalizing all West Bank homes built on Palestinian-owned land.