[JURIST] Israeli police on Sunday evicted a group of Jewish settlers squatting in a Palestinian house in the West Bank city of Hebron, a region where Jewish settlement is no longer allowed. Three settler families left peacefully, but police scuffled with two dozen teenagers who initially refused to leave the house. 19 settlers were arrested. This evacuation, the first test of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert [BBC profile] since taking over office, may be indicative of Olmert's future actions involving the completion of Israel's security fence [IDF website] around Jerusalem and the West Bank. Olmert stressed Sunday that the government would take an uncompromising approach to any Jewish settlers who choose to break the law.
The settlers claimed the house had been purchased legally from a Palestinian family, but Palestinian groups denied their claims. The Israeli Supreme Court [official website] ordered the eviction of the settlers Thursday, pending review of the home's ownership. Reuters has more. Haaretz has local coverage.