Israeli police forces arrive to evacuate Israeli supporters of settlements on February 28, 2017 in the settlement of Ofra in the occupied West Bank, during an operation by Israeli forces to evict settlers' houses. 
Israeli police began removing residents and protesters from nine West Bank settler homes set to be demolished under a Supreme Court ruling. The homes in the Ofra settlement -- a symbol of Jewish settler defiance to international concerns -- were found to have been built on private Palestinian land and ordered razed by March 5.
 / AFP / MENAHEM KAHANA        (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli police confronted at West Bank settlement
01:31 - Source: CNN
Ofra, West Bank CNN  — 

Hundreds of protesters gathered Tuesday in the West Bank settlement of Ofra, where police were evacuating settlers from nine houses that the court found were built on private Palestinian land without a permit.

Police, wearing blue sweaters and hats emblazoned with a Star of David, faced off against crowds of religious activists who clogged the streets and packed the houses set to be evacuated.

Protesters atop the roof of one of the nine houses.

Large banners hung from eight of the homes, showing images of the family who lived there and the names of each member. Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the eight families have agreed to leave quietly after speaking with the police.

But hundreds of protesters tried to resist the evacuation, standing in circles and singing religious songs inside the homes. Outside, they set up loudspeakers to amplify their prayers and pleas to police.

Police blocked off roads inside Ofra as a way of keeping out activists who may try to join the protest.

As of Tuesday at noon local time, one person had been arrested for attacking police, Samri said.

Police, who were mostly unarmed, had to remove some protesters.

Ofra was one of the first settlements established after the Six-Day War of 1967, when Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan. It was first settled in 1975 and received formal recognition in 1977.

Courts ruled in February that the nine homes in the settlement should be demolished, and set March 5 as the deadline. An appeal by residents of Ofra to seal off the homes rather than destroy them was rejected by the High Court of Justice Monday.

Earlier this month, violent protests broke out when police arrived to evacuate the nearby Amona outpost, also following a court order.

The atmosphere in Ofra, while tense, was much calmer than Amona. Many protesters left the homes peacefully, though some had to be dragged out by their arms and legs.

Many in the international community see settlements as a major obstacle to peace.

More than 400,000 Jewish settlers live in the West Bank, which Israel has occupied since the Six-Day War.

There are 126 Israeli settlements in the West Bank, according to the September 2016 report from the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics. Geographically, these settlements are all across the West Bank.

Israelis who support the settlement movement, among others, dispute that the West Bank is occupied territory. They refer to the West Bank as Judea and Samaria, which is its biblical name. But most of the international community sees settlements as a major obstacle to peace because they are built on land the Palestinians see as part of their future state.

US President Donald Trump last month told Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom that he is “not somebody that believes that going forward with … settlements is a good thing for peace.”