JERUSALEM, Israel -- Most of the 50 families left their homes in Migron Sunday with heavy hearts.
Migron is an Israeli village about six miles north of Jerusalem, situated on a hilltop overlooking Highway 60 in the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council of Samaria (also known as the West Bank).
Police officers handed out eviction notices early Sunday morning, though some, but not all, of the younger children had already been evacuated to avoid the emotional trauma.
Their parents felt betrayed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who calls his government the most "pro-settlement" ever.
As with the evacuation of Beit El's Ulpana neighborhood in June, Netanyahu said the decision followed the "rule of law," and he welcomed the nonviolent end of the "Migron issue."
"I'm pleased that the Migron issue, like the Ulpana issue, was resolved with dialogue, responsibility and no violence. This is how it should be and will be," Netanyahu said.
He added that the "rule of law" and the "settlement enterprise" are not "mutually exclusive."
But resident Itai Harel, who helped found the community, said the court's decision was one more victory for the ultra-left-wing Peace Now organization, the self-appointed defenders of Palestinian Arab rights.
"This has been a very difficult day," Harel said, "filled with emotions of sorrow and betrayal."
In the end, most residents left voluntarily, though police forcibly removed some of the teens, arresting eight of them for "assaulting officers."
Border Police were deployed in the area to prevent "activists" from reaching the village.
A statement issued earlier by Migron residents expressed their sense of betrayal.
"This week the forces of destruction sent by Netanyahu, [Minister without portfolio Benny] Begin and [Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe] Ya'alon will rise on Migron to destroy it," the statement began.
"The residents of Migron never have, and never will, cooperate with the razing of their community. We call on everyone to protest and decry the terrible destruction condoned by the Likud government.
"To all those who seek to harm us, we say, 'We will not break and we will not yield. Today, everyone already knows -- the story of Migron will end with at least two new communities."
Migron was established in 1999 on 60 plots of land. In 2006, Peace Now petitioned the High Court, supposedly representing Arab land owners who claimed Migron was built on stolen property.
In what's become the standard, the court accepted the petition, but delayed the final ruling to expel the residents and destroy the town until 2011.
That decision led Peace Now activists to sue for the alleged destruction of Arab-owned olive trees, a suit that was dropped with court-required proof of ownership, Caroline Glick reported on August 31.
Click here to Glick's full report.