MIGRON, West Bank – Under court order, Israel on Sunday evacuated one of the largest unauthorized settlement outposts in the West Bank, moving to dismantle what had become a symbol of efforts by Jewish settlers to seize land without government approval.

Migron, considered the flagship of about 100 wildcat outposts built by settlers on West Bank hills, was ordered removed by the Israeli Supreme Court because it was built without official permits on land privately owned by Palestinians.

After years of legal wrangling and repeated delays by the government, the hilltop community of about 50 religious families living in mobile homes was emptied with virtually no resistance from the settlers, other than a few holdouts who had to be carried off by police.

By day’s end, nearly all of the 300 residents had left the site, near the Palestinian city of Ramallah, after being served with eviction orders. They traveled to temporary quarters at a neighboring settlement and are to move later this month into prefab homes built for them on a hillside about a mile away from their original location.

After several postponements of the evacuation, the government had tried to delay it for another three years under a compromise negotiated with the settlers, but it was compelled to act by a new court-imposed deadline.

“We are committed to the rule of law,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared after the outpost was emptied. “We are honoring the court’s rulings and we are also strengthening settlement. There is no contradiction between the two.”

Along with the alternative housing for the Migron settlers, Netanyahu has pledged to build hundreds of housing units in West Bank settlements to offset the court-ordered evacuation in June of five apartment houses built on private Palestinian land in the settlement of Beit El.

Israeli settlement expansion on land the Palestinians seek for a future state has been at the core of the current impasse in peace efforts. The Palestinians say they will not resume peace talks without a halt to the construction, a matter Israel says should be resolved in negotiations.

Peace Now, an Israeli group that opposes the settlements and petitioned the Supreme Court in 2006 for the removal of Migron, called the evacuation a “significant achievement for anyone who believes in the two-state solution and the democratic rules of the game.”

“We’ve proven that the settlers are not above the law, and that their system of putting facts on the ground can be fought,” said Hagit Ofran, who heads Peace Now’s settlement monitoring team. “This is a sign that settlements can be removed.”

But Danny Dayan, chairman of the Yesha Council, the settlers’ umbrella group, said that the removal of Migron would not change the larger reality of an established Israeli presence in the West Bank, where the Jewish settler population has grown to more than 300,000.

“If you look at the big picture, the process is irreversible,” he said. “It can’t be stopped, and the battle against it is futile.”

Israel has 120 established settlements in the West Bank, communities it views as legitimate, though they are considered illegal by most foreign governments.