BEIJING — Hong Kong police said Tuesday they would clear the city’s main pro-democracy camp later this week, setting up a possible final showdown with protesters after a court order authorized the sweeps.

The operation, set to begin Thursday, reflects the waning support for demonstrators after more than two months of civil disobedience and clashes that began over Beijing’s role in directing elections in the former British colony.

Sympathy for the student-led protesters was high at the outset, especially after police used tear gas. But support has fallen during the prolonged occupation and in response to more confrontational tactics by the radical fringe, whose members tried to break into government offices.

Authorities will begin clearing the main site in Hong Kong’s Admiralty district at 9 a.m. on Thursday, according to a lawyer representing a bus company that brought the successful court action.

Although the court order did not cover the entire protest site, police said they would take the opportunity to clear all the occupied areas.

“After we assist the bailiffs clearing the areas in the injunction, we will clear the rest of the occupied areas according to the law,” the assistant police commissioner, Cheung Tak-Keung, told a news conference, warning police would not allow protesters time to pack up their belongings.

“Police will not take actions if protesters stick to their original principles of peace and non-violence, but we have seen violence being used,” he said. “Protesters should not step up their actions or police will have to use more force.”

Numbers have dwindled sharply at the pro-democracy protests in recent weeks and morale appears to be flagging. Some protesters have begun packing their tents and removing artwork from the site this week in anticipation of the final clear-out.

Hundreds of people thronged the site late Tuesday to capture what could be the last photos of the area, which has been part of the most serious challenge to China’s control of Hong Kong since it was handed over in 1997.

Police shut down another protest site in another Hong Kong district, Mong Kok, late last month after a separate court order, making around 160 arrests in several nights of clashes with protesters.

Hong Kong’s chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, said officers would use “minimum force” while clearing the streets this week, but has also warned they could face “fierce resistance.”