Amona Evacuation Turns Violent

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Amona Evacuation Turns Violent

Written by Andrew Friedman/TPS on February 01, 2017

10:38  Police spokespeople said that a resident of Amona surrendered a bag with stun grenades and other weapons to police Wednesday.  Police called on residents to “act responsibly to reign in [activists who have] come to Amona from other places  and not to allow violence against police officers and innocent people.

“The police call on community leaders to continue to act responsibly in order to ensure that the enforcement of a court order is carried out in an orderly fashion  and to ensure that the evacuation does not become a needlessly violent clash between civilians and security forces

Hopes for a relatively peaceful and orderly evacuation of the illegal outpost were dashed Wednesday when attempts by IDF and police forces to enter the settlement outpost and begin its evacuation were rebuffed by the residents and their supporters, who have created barriers which include burning tires, covering the outpost in a pall of acrid smoke and setting the stage for a day of clashes.

Overnight hundreds of right wing Jewish activists, many of them teenagers infiltrated the army’s cordon around the community, and joined residents in erecting barricades and preparing to resist the court-ordered evacuation. After the army’s first attempt to enter the settlement was rebuffed, forces are now waiting outside the community for further instructions from the government before attempting to reenter the outpost.

Army sources say Premier Netanyahu and Defense Minister Lieberman have taken personal control of the situation.

The initial attempt to enter Amona began less than 24 hours after the IDF issued the residents evacuation orders requiring them to leave. Tuesday, IDF and police forces formed roadblocks around the outpost, and initially  it seemed the resistance would be minimal. When this reporter arrived at Amona yesterday (Tuesday) at 3:30 pm , residents estimated there were no more than 80 people in the settlement, andthere was  little indication that the evacuation would engender more than a symbolic protest by residents. Within several hours, however, hundreds of activists carrying sleeping bags and field backpacks had trekked through the surrounding hills to enter the outpost, avoiding the army’s cordon by trekking through the surrounding hills, braving freezing rain and a biting wind.  By 5:30 several hundred teenagers had infiltrate the  settlement and had begun preparing for the dramatic last stand currently unfolding.

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