Middle East

Israeli forces begin evacuating 9 settler homes in West Bank

Israeli forces have started to evacuate nine homes in the West Bank settlement of Ofra, following a Supreme Court decision that they were built on private Palestinian land.

Military and police forces handed the evacuation orders to settler leaders on Tuesday and asked the residents to cooperate peacefully.

Brig. Gen. Yoram Sofer pleaded with the settlers "to act according to moral standards, to assist us and not to use violence."

One of the residents defiantly tore up the order but no major disturbances have been reported.

Earlier this month, Israeli forces uprooted Amona, a nearby West Bank outpost, following a similar court order. The forces removed residents and hundreds of their supporters in sometimes violent clashes as they dismantled a community that had become a symbol of Jewish settler defiance.