Israel Arrests Four Settlers Over Posters Accusing Colonel of 'Shooting Jews'

Youths were apparently motivated by the recent evacuation of an unauthorized outpost during which residents threw stones at troops led by Col. Gilad Amit

כרזות המסיתות נגד מח"ט שומרוןPosters attacking Col. Gilad Amit, found in the West Bank
No credit

Israeli police arrested four people, one of them a minor, on Wednesday night on the suspicion of hanging posters accusing a military commander of "shooting Jews," apparently in reference to the recent evacuation of an unauthorized outpost in the West Bank.

To really understand Israel and the West Bank - subscribe to Haaretz

One poster featured an image of Shomron Brigade chief Col. Gilad Amit and alleged that he was "responsible for a series of attacks on new settlement points in the Samaria region."

>> Settler violence against Palestinians is on the rise, but goes regularly unpunished >>

Last week, three people, including a minor, were arrested during the attempted evacuation by soldiers led by Col. Amit of the outpost known as Rosh Yosef, which is near the settlement of Itamar in  northern West Bank. The outposts' residents pelted the troops with stones, the military said. The soldiers responded by firing tear gas and shooting into the air.

The posters found on Wednesday claimed that the soldiers made "massive use of tear gas" and used live fire against residents.

Nati Bar, an attorney with the right-wing legal aid organization Honenu, is representing the two suspects arrested Wednesday, and said it was "dismaying to see, precisely on Independence Day, police arresting a minor an adult without a criminal record in an attempt to shut their mouths and strike a serious blow against the youths' freedom of expression."

The army said it is seeing an increased level of violence by settlers both against soldiers and Palestinians. Recently, unidentified persons set fire to the door of a mosque in Nablus and spray-painted graffiti on the building.

On April 4 and 5, several vehicles were vandalized in East Jerusalem and a West Bank village. The cars were graffitied with slogans saying "administrative price tag" and "end the administrative orders." These followed a string of administrative orders banning entry of Israeli settlers into the West Bank.

March 29 marked the first time settlers were convicted of belonging to a terrorist organization. The Supreme Court found the four guilty of having carried out a number of politically motivated attacks since 2009, including setting fire to Palestinian homes and vehicles and distributing racist material. In 2015, the verdict claims, two of the three Israelis threw gas grenades and sprayed graffiti on a house in the village of Beitillu near Ramallah, where a nine-year-old boy and his parents were sleeping.