Three Settlers Arrested After Attack on Security Forces

Six Border Police offices were wounded in a clash with hundreds of settlers when attempting to demolish illegal structures in the settlement of Yitzhar.

Chaim Levinson
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Demolished structures in Yitzhar, April 8, 2014.Credit: IDF Spokesperson
Chaim Levinson

Three settlers have been arrested over the past two days on suspicion of assaulting members of the security forces in Yitzhar, a West Bank settlement, on Tuesday.

The first detainee, a man in his forties from Yitzhar, was arrested by detectives on suspicion of participating in the assault, in which several members of the Border Police were injured and state property damaged. He is a well-known figure in settler and right-wing circles and his activities have been in the headlines in the past year.

The other two detainees are a man in his twenties from the outpost of Havat Gilad, who is also suspected of participating in the assault, and a 16 year-old youth suspected of throwing stones at a police vehicle.

Hundreds of rock-throwing settlers clashed with Border Police when the latter entered Yitzhar overnight Tuesday to demolish illegal structures. Six Border Police officers were injured in the clashes, two requiring hospitalization.

Four structures in the settlement were demolished and one was confiscated. Two of the structures were inhabited.

According to a military official, hundreds of settlers took part in the clashes. A group of settlers also attacked a guard post in the settlement, manned by reservists responsible for the residents' security. According to witnesses in the area, settlers vandalized the bathroom, punctured a water line and tore up mattresses.

The Israel Defense Forces said in a statement that it sees any damage to its security forces, which are doing their job and enforcing the law, as a grave incident.