Extremist settlers torched two Palestinian homes in the West Bank city of Hebron on Thursday in protest to evacuating them from shops they occupied in the city’s market., No injuries were reported in the attack.
Earlier this month, eight settler families, who took over eight Palestinian stores, at a market in the West Bank city of Hebron, were handed out eviction notices by representatives of the Israeli Civil Administration Office.
Dozens of settlers confronted with the soldiers, and police officers, who accompanied the officials, and threw water, flour and eggs at them; Settlers claimed that violence was initiated by the soldiers.
The eight Palestinian stores were occupied by the settlers in 2001; the Hebron municipality appealed the Israeli High Court to evacuate them; the court ordered their evacuation but the army did not implement the court ruling.
Israeli media sources reported that eviction orders demands the settler families to evacuate the stores by January 15.
The settlers, who were informed in advance of the intentions of the Civil Administration Office to hand them the eviction orders, said in a press release before receiving the orders that they "will resist, and reject the evacuation".
The settler families controlled the Palestinian stores and turned them into homes after expelling their owners; they claim that the land belongs to Jewish families which lived there before 1929.
The Israeli High Court of Justice recently ordered security forces to evacuate the settlers from the market after they were unable to provide proof that they owned the property.
Settlement activities in Hebron started after Israeli occupied the West Bank in 1967; settlers carried repeated attacks against Palestinian families in the city and expelled them.
Israeli Defense Minister, Shaul Mofaz, ordered the soldiers to implement a court decision to evacuate the settlers from the Palestinian owned buildings, in addition to two other West Bank outposts.
Dozens of settlers live in one of the illegal outposts called Hill 725, south of the West Bank city of Nablus, and five settler families are living in Skali’s Farm" near Elon Moreh settlement, in addition to a few settler families living in " Arusi’s Farm".
The army is expected to implement the raze orders in the near future, an Israeli military source reported.
Settlers began, on Thursday at night, to prevent the evacuation of the illegal outposts, expected in the coming days.
Meanwhile, the Israeli army froze a plan for a wide-scale operation against illegal settlement outposts in the West Bank. Soldiers intend to demolish nine homes in the Amouna illegal settlement outpost, near Ofra settlement, north of the West Bank.
The raze orders were issued by the Israeli High Court after the residents long with several human rights organization appealed against the outpost which was installed on Palestinian private lands.
The Israeli army is expecting clashes with the extremist settlers during the evacuation of the illegal outposts.