Youth protesting settlement freeze block Jerusalem entrance
Settler leader lightly hurt in clashes; activists plan first mass protests within Green Line.
Riots against the settlement freeze escalated on Monday as dozens of Jewish youth attempted to block the entrance road to Jerusalem. Police were deployed to the area, and detained five teens for further questioning.
Earlier over a hundred police from the special patrol unit gathered on Monday at the West Bank settlement of Ma'aleh Levona to protect the defense officials entering the settlements to distribute construction freeze orders.
Hundreds of young right-wing activists blocked the entrances to Ma'aleh Levona and Revava, in an effort to prevent defense officials from distributing the orders.
Deputy Shomron Regional Council Chairman Reuven Gur Aryeh was lightly hurt during clashes between settlers and police, and taken to the Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikvah for treatment.
Dozens of girls from the local religious school spread out across the road leading up to Revava, while another 200 youth stood at the gates to Ma'aleh Levona, where they had piled rocks as a blockade.
Inspectors earlier Monday distributed the injunctions in a number of settlements across the West Bank, without violent incident or demonstration.
Settlers, meanwhile, are preparing for a heated confrontation with security services over the construction freeze imposed on West Bank settlements. For the first time, settlers are seeking to organize demonstrations and block roads in several Israeli communities within the Green Line.
On Sunday morning, the residents of Kedumim demonstrated the force being used in the campaign against the freeze.
After settlers blocked police and Civil Administration officials from entering the settlement for several days, the latter finally made their way in on Sunday, by breaking through the fence separating Kedumim and the Palestinian village of Qadum.
When the security convoy tried to leave the settlement, it was blocked by several dozen youths, led by regional council head Hananel Durani and his deputy Kobi Bar-On.
Police were not able to disperse the demonstrators. Only after settlement rabbi Zvi Farbstein asked the female protesters to stop, in order not to violate modesty norms, was the convoy able to leave the settlement, along with two demonstrators they had detained.
Thus, the simple matter of distributing orders to freeze construction in Kedumim took 200 officers and lasted three hours.
Durani said afterward, "Despite the police officers' steely determination, we in Kedumim will fight for our right to continue building up the Land of Israel."
Officials in the Yesha Council of settlements expressed satisfaction, saying that should residents of other settlements put up similar resistance, the Civil Administration will find itself facing serious problems.
In two weeks, inspectors are scheduled to return to the settlements where they distributed the stop-work orders to verify that construction has indeed halted. If it has not, the inspectors are authorized to issue demolition orders.
In the meantime, settlers are preparing to wage a nationwide protest, including roadblocks on key traffic arteries and demonstrations outside officials' homes. The campaign is being spearheaded by activists from the northern West Bank settlement of Yitzhar.
This weekend's edition of the "Hakol Hayehudi," a newspaper prepared by students of Yitzhar rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburg, said, "This Monday at 5 P.M., several demonstrations are expected across the country in light of the freeze orders. The rationale behind the demonstrations is that if the Jews of Judea and Samaria are being stopped in their tracks, so will the Jews across the country."
Right-wing activists have also been circulating text messages with the addresses of senior officials in the State Prosecutor's Office, police and Civil Administration.
Rabbi Yosef Elitzur, one of the heads of the "Od Yosef Hai" yeshiva in Yitzhar, published an article recommending other means of action.
"If there is no quiet for the Jews, there will be no quiet for the Arabs. A Civil Administration base can serve as a target for a quick, precise infiltration that could damage damage and destroy one of their offices. You destroy ours, we destroy yours!"
On Sunday morning, Yitzhar settlers burned cars and tractors in the nearby village of Einbus.
Resident Nader Hashem Alan, 36, his wife and eight children were sleeping when settlers attacked his home. He told Haaretz that at 1:45 A.M. he heard noise outside, and saw a Subaru van with five armed men.
"At first I thought they were car thieves. But then they poured gas on the cars and tractors. I yelled at them, but they torched my car and told me to go inside," he said.