Page last updated at 10:38 GMT, Tuesday, 21 July 2009 11:38 UK

Israel settlers burn olive trees

A settler is arrested during an incident at Hawarra checkpoint, near Nablus (20.07.09)
The arrests followed the removal of a structure at an outpost

Ten people have been arrested during a series of disturbances caused by Jewish settlers in the West Bank after Israeli authorities removed an illegal caravan.

Two Palestinians were taken to hospital after settlers threw stones at cars and tried to block a road near Nablus in the northern West Bank on Monday night.

Settlers also set fire to a Palestinian olive grove in the area.

The caravan was part of an "outpost", a settlement illegal under Israeli law, which Israel has agreed to remove.

Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank are illegal under international law.

Settlers after structure at Adei Ad is demolished (20.07.09)

Right-leaning Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is under US pressure to halt all settlement building and carry out previous Israeli pledges to remove the outposts.

But the settlers, many of whom say they have a God-given right to live in the West Bank, have threatened to impose what they call a "price tag" on such evacuations.

The Human Rights Group Yesh Din said this can include attacking Palestinians and their property "to create a price for each evacuation, causing Israeli authorities to think twice about carrying them out".

Police did not give details of the incidents in which the 10 arrests were made, but said they were from a series of "disturbances" across the West Bank.

At least 280,000 Jews live in settlements (with a further 180,000 living in East Jerusalem), established in the occupied West Bank with Israeli government backing, in contravention of international law.

Israeli activist groups say there are, in addition, about 100 unauthorised outposts in the West Bank, where Palestinians want to locate their future state.

On Tuesday, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Israeli forces were drafting a plan to remove 23 such outposts in one day.

Print Sponsor

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


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific