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Israeli police: Stone-throwing protesters hurt 23 officers in West Bank

By Allen Cone
Jewish settlers stand on a hill overlooking the unauthorized Israeli settlement outpost Amona in the West Bank, east of the Palestinian city of Ramallah, on December 9, 2016. Two police officers and two minors were injured Thursday when settlers threw stones at security forces while structures were being demolished, File photo by Debbie Hill/UPI
Jewish settlers stand on a hill overlooking the unauthorized Israeli settlement outpost Amona in the West Bank, east of the Palestinian city of Ramallah, on December 9, 2016. Two police officers and two minors were injured Thursday when settlers threw stones at security forces while structures were being demolished, File photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Twenty-three police officers and several teens were injured Thursday when protesting settlers violently responded to their removal at the West Bank outpost of Amona, border police said.

Those hurt were taken to a nearby hospital, the police said in a report by The Times of Israel. Border police said four young settlers were hurt and Honenu legal aid organization put the number at 10.

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About 300 youths had barricaded themselves into two mobile homes and threw objects in an attempt to prevent the Jerusalem District Court order from being carried out to evacuate the area. The evacuation lasted three hours.

"The forces that came to the scene encountered very intense violence from dozens of rioters who threw stones, burned tires and threw barbed wire at the forces using riot control measures," a police spokesperson said to Haaretz.

Seven protesters have been detained, police said.

Honenu legal aid alleged the officers dragged them out one out of the makeship structures and used tear gas in one of the buses to move away the protesters.

The Army made the decision to demolish the structures Wednesday night, Israel's Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said in an interview with the Army Radio.

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In February 2017, Amona was evacuated by court order because it was illegally built on privately owned Palestinian land, the court rules.

On Dec. 14, dozens of settlers had entered the area, which was evacuated two years earlier. Settlers claim they bought the land on which new structures had been built on Palestinian private land.

The Binyamin Regional Council had moved two prefab homes into Amona and provided basic infrastructure such as water tankers.

On Wednesday, the Jerusalem District Court denied their petition to block the move.

The State Attorney's Office on Monday had given the squatters 48 hours to remove the mobile homes before the state would do so.

"This is an unnecessary, sad and outrageous event," Minister of Knesset Bezalel Smotrich said to Haaretz.

On Wednesday, a man threw a pipe bomb at Israeli soldiers in northern West Bank but no troops were injured. Soldiers shot at the fleeing suspect.

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