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Israelis Scuffle Over Settlement Dismantling

From Times Wire Services

Israeli troops and police scuffled with hundreds of Jewish settlers near Nablus on Saturday as they made good on a government promise to dismantle about 20 rogue hilltop settlements in the West Bank.

Israeli troops also arrested at least eight suspected Palestinian militants in a sweep of the Nablus area, and four soldiers were injured when they blew up a door to one suspect’s house. The eight Palestinians belong to Yasser Arafat’s Fatah faction or the militant Islamic group Hamas, the army and Palestinian witnesses said.

Hundreds of police and soldiers faced off against the Jewish settlers, some of whom had rifles slung over their shoulders, as they followed Defense Ministry orders to dismantle the Havat Gilad outpost.

Several settlers climbed onto the roof of one structure to prevent it being demolished by a bulldozer, but were thrown down by police. Thirty people, including soldiers and police, were injured, said Israel Radio, whose reporter estimated that 1,000 settlers were at the site.

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