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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A group of Israeli soldiers disobeyed orders on Monday to help in the dismantling of several structures that Jewish settlers had built without government authorisation in the occupied West Bank.
A military spokesperson said several soldiers were relieved of duty pending an investigation and would face courts martial later in the day.
The mutiny followed a similar incident last month that raised concern in Israel about rebellion in the ranks of soldiers opposed on religious or political grounds to any settler evacuation in a future peace deal with the Palestinians.
"It should be emphasised that the soldiers' actions were fundamentally wrong and contradictory to the (military's) core values," an army statement said about Monday's events.
A Reuters photographer at the scene, a settler-outpost erected without Israeli government permission outside the West Bank town of Hebron, said two wooden houses were dismantled by Israeli police.
The area was secured by soldiers from an infantry battalion, some of whom "did not follow orders given to them," the army spokeswoman said, declining to provide exact numbers. The YNet news Web site said six soldiers were relieved of duty.
The military had said earlier only two soldiers would face courts martial but later said they all would stand trial.
Last month, a group of conscripts disrupted their swearing-in ceremony at Jerusalem's Western Wall, calling for continued Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank. Palestinians say settlements could deny them a viable state.
The military said two soldiers were sentenced to 20 days in jail for their actions at the holy site and removed permanently from the unit.
In a report on Sunday that stirred debate in Israel, the Haaretz newspaper said the chief military chaplain, Brigadier-General Avichai Rontzki, told religious conscripts last week to show no mercy towards their enemies.
(Writing by Ori Lewis; Editing by Charles Dick)

Reuters