Hundreds of Israeli soldiers have evacuated Israeli settlers from two houses in Hebron on the West Bank. The members of two Israeli families, along with young ultra-nationalists squatting in the houses, were removed by the troops, supported by police. In a 1997 agreement with the Palestinian Authority, Israel evacuated 80 percent of Hebron leaving only a few hundred Jewish settlers in the city centre.
Noam Amon, a leader of the Committee of Jews in Hebron, expressed his displeasure at the situation: “The government cancelled the agreement. It’s like you pay the money but you don’t get the car. So, it’s a crime and I’m sure we’ll return. This is Jewish land. It was given to us by the owners, the owners of this land.”
Two years ago the settlers in the old Palestinian market that was closed by the army agreed to leave on condition they could later return. Expressing their anger at an Israeli court order to evacuate the two houses the squatters set fire to part of a Palestinian school in Hebron last weekend.