Security Forces Clear Illegal Arab Outpost in Jordan Valley
Israeli troops cleared an illegal Arab outpost in the Jordan Valley on Friday, ending a week-long demonstration against Israel's refusal to surrender the area in any future peace deal.
Soldiers, border guards and police asked the mixture of far-left and Arab activists to leave before forcefully evicting them, a statement from the army said.
"The agitators were evacuated due to rock hurling earlier this week at the main Jordan Valley route, and other legal considerations," it said.
But activists said the army had not given them any warning.
"At 1:30 am (on Friday, 2330 GMT on Thursday) the army raided the village unexpectedly," activist Diana al-Zeer said. "They started throwing sound grenades and were very violent while they evacuated us."
Last Friday, around 300 Palestinian Arab together with Israeli and foreign leftists occupied an abandoned houses in the village of Ain Hijleh near Jericho in Judea to protest against Israel's refusal to pull out of the Jordan Valley in the event of a peace deal.
In US-brokered peace talks, Israel has insisted on maintaining a long-term military presence in the Jordan Valley, on the border with Jordan, insisting the region was necessary for Israeli security.
But the Palestinian Authority is demanding a full withdrawal to make way for an international security force.
Security forces and Arab rioters also clashed at the flashpoint Al-Aqsa compound on Jerusalem's Temple Mount on Friday, with police arresting five people.
"Five were arrested for throwing stones at police officers, and police used stun grenades to disperse rioters," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
Several rioters were injured, an AFP correspondent said.