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Israel tears down unauthorized West Bank settler outpost

Abir Sultan / EPA

Jewish settlers look for their belongings after Israeli security forces demolished two structures in the unauthorized Jewish settlement outpost of Mitzpe Yitzhar, in the West Bank, early on Dec. 15, 2011.

Abir Sultan / EPA

Jewish settlers look for their belongings after Israeli security forces demolished two structures in the unauthorized Jewish settlement outpost of Mitzpe Yitzhar, in the West Bank, early on Dec. 15, 2011.

Reuters reports:

Israeli forces tore down structures in a settler-outpost built without government approval in the West Bank on Thursday.

Hours later, a mosque in the village of Burqa was defaced with Hebrew graffiti that said "war" and "Mitzpe Yitzhar," the name of the outpost where the demolitions had taken place. Suspicion immediately fell on Jewish extremists.

Attempts to demolish unauthorized outposts have been resisted by radicals who scuffle with troops or carry out night-time sabotage to inflict what they call the "price tag" for "selling out" the settlements.

Although Israel continues to expand larger official settlements, it has been evacuating smaller, unauthorized outposts, in line with court orders to move against them.

Read more about the incidents in our story: Jewish settlers eyed after another mosque burns.