Israel Police Arrest Two Settler Teenagers for Attacking Cops Disguised as Palestinians

Police refuse to disclose why two officers were disguised as Palestinian laborers ■ NGO representing settlers accuses police of 'provocation'

Hagar Shezaf
Hagar Shezaf
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The settlement of Bat Ayin in the West Bank, 2016.
The settlement of Bat Ayin in the West Bank, 2016. Credit: Eyal Toueg
Hagar Shezaf
Hagar Shezaf

Israel Police officers impersonating Palestinian technicians were assaulted by two teenagers in the Jewish settlement of Bat Ayin on Tuesday, the right-wing Honenu organization said.

When the disguised policemen arrived at the settlement, the teenagers approached them and inquired why they were there, to which the cops didn’t provide a clear answer.

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This led one of the teenagers to hit one of the policemen, while the other sprayed a different police officer with pepper spray. Both were then arrested and taken in for questioning.

The police declined to comment on their operational activity in the settlement, adding that one policeman was lightly wounded in the incident.

The settlers in Bat Ayin adhere to the principle of "Hebrew labor," meaning their community doesn't employ Arabs at all, while in other West Bank settlements, it is quite common to hire Palestinian employees.

Honenu said in a statement that "Throughout the settlement's 30 years, the authorities have respected the wishes of the residents, sending only Jewish professionals and maintenance workers."

Attorney Moshe Polsky, who is representing the youths, said his clients were detained overnight.

"Unfortunately, Israel Police are again causing provocation. Police disguised as Arab technicians came into Bat Ayin and as everybody knows, this is a stressful time, with children running around without protection," Polsky said, adding the pushing between the teenagers and the cops was "mutual".

In 2015ת the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court exonerated three teenagers from the settlement of Susya who were accused of attacking policemen dressed as Palestinians. Judge Hagit Mac-Kalmanovic deemed the police's conduct "provocation."

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