Ahead of settlements removal: Clashes erupt between Israeli troops and settlers in West Bank
Several Israeli soldiers were injured during clashes with evacuation opponents in the West Bank on Monday when protesters threw stones at troops and slashed army vehicle tires outside the settlement of "Sa Nur".
Another soldier was hospitalized after being beaten by protesters at the "Homesh" settlement.
Both settlements are slated to be evacuated on Tuesday. Residents of "Ganim" and "Kadim", the two other settlements to be evacuated on Tuesday, left peacefully.
In anticipation of heavy protests, nearly 5,000 troops were deployed on Monday to confront approximately 2,000 evacuation opponents.
Israeli military reports state that approximately 100 teenagers attacked army bulldozers as they approached Sa Nur settlement. Israeli police said settlers in Sa Nur and Homesh were stockpiling weapons, including stun grenades.
Earlier, it was reported that scores of evacuation opponents were arrested by Israeli security forces on Monday after infiltrating the two north West Bank settlements. Opponents torched a communications position of the Israeli army, and spread spikes on the road leading to it.
Israeli security forces have expressed concern that opposition to evacuation from settlements in the West Bank is expected to exceed that of the Gaza Strip, according to the Jerusalem Post.
Meanwhile, in an attempt to maintain security in the region, Palestinian Authority forces began deploying troops on Monday around the town of Jenin in preparation of Israel's anticipated withdrawal from West Bank settlements nearby.
Palestinian security forces will stand guard at seven roadblocks near the four settlements, Israel Radio reported.
© 2005 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)