Agence France Presse (AFP)
October 19, 2008 - 8:00pm

Israeli troops have cleared three Jewish wildcat settlements in the occupied West Bank, the army said on Monday.

The three outposts, one of which was built six months ago and the other two set up on Sunday by right-wing activists, were removed during the night by border police and army troops, it said in a statement.

Wildcat settlements, considered illegal by Israel, are generally built on ridge tops, close to settlements recognised by the Jewish state. About 100 wildcat settlements dot the West Bank, some consisting of just a few trailers and others made up of a dozen mobile homes connected to the power grid.

The international community regards all West Bank settlements as illegal and the Palestinians say continued settlement construction is a major hurdle in the US-backed peace process.

More than 260,000 Israelis are estimated to live in government-authorised settlements across the West Bank, with another 200,000 in settlements in annexed east Jerusalem.


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