[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 March 2007, 07:33 GMT 08:33 UK
Israel breaks up settler protest
Jewish protesters occupying the Homesh settlement
The protesters have pledged to return again and again
Hundreds of Israeli riot police have moved in on a ruined Jewish settlement in the West Bank to remove a group of settlers trying to reclaim the land.

Officers armed with batons dragged the 300 settlers occupying the site away and placed them on waiting buses.

On Monday a group of protesters marched to the Homesh settlement vowing to rebuild it and refused to leave.

The Homesh settlement was closed in 2005 as part of Israel's withdrawal from Gaza and parts of the West Bank.

The protesters, most of them youths, walked to the ruined settlement on Monday under the protection of the Israeli army.

As part of their three-day protest they had set up tents and begun piling up the remnants of the buildings which were demolished by Israeli forces during the 2005 pull-out.

Our goal is not to clash but to return again and again and again until the flag of Israel will once again fly over the lands we were expelled from
Yossi Dagan, protester
One family who were forced out of Homesh at that time held the ritual circumcision of their newborn son at the site.

While the protest has now ended, the squatters have vowed to return:

"Our goal is not to clash but to return again and again and again until the flag of Israel will once again fly over the lands we were expelled from because all the country understands now that the disengagement, the expulsion, was a mistake," Yossi Dagan, one of the group, told Israel Army Radio.

Historic withdrawal

Homesh was one of four Jewish settlements in the West Bank forced to close by the government in accordance with the disengagement plan drawn up by the then prime minister, Ariel Sharon.

It was the first time Israel had withdrawn from Palestinian land captured in the 1967 war.

The houses of the settlers were demolished in agreement with the Palestinian Authority.

About 450,000 settlers remain in about 120 settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

All of the 8,500 or so settlers in Gaza were removed in a six-day operation.




RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific