Israel has begun demolishing a cluster of Palestinian homes it says were built illegally too close to the separation barrier in the occupied West Bank.
Hundreds of police and troops moved in to Sur Baher as bulldozers tore down structures said to house 17 people.
Palestinians say it is an attempt by Israel to grab West Bank land.
Israel’s High Court had rejected appeals against the demolition order, saying the homes had been put up within a no-build zone next to the barrier.
The barrier was built in and around the West Bank in the wake of the second Palestinian uprising which began in 2000. Israel says its purpose is to prevent infiltrations from the West Bank by Palestinian attackers, but Palestinians say it is a tool take over occupied land.
The demolitions are particularly controversial because the homes, in the village of Wadi Hummus on the edge of Sur Baher, are situated in part of the West Bank under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority but were built on the Israeli side of the barrier.
The Palestinian Authority had granted permits for the structures to be built around 10 years ago, according to media reports.
Israel demolishes ‘illegal’ homes under Palestinian control}