Israeli Soldiers Fight Border Police Over Settlers Arrested for Throwing Stones at Palestinians

Two Israeli soldiers suspended following incident, army says it will conduct joint investigation with Border Police into incident ■ Some 50 people participate in protest between Ramallah and Beit El against recent terror attacks

IDF soldiers confront border policemen following arrest of settlers, near Ramallah, West Bank, December 16, 2018.
Tzvi Succot

Two Israeli soldiers were suspended from duty after they tried to forcibly release settlers arrested Saturday overnight for hurling stones towards Palestinian homes in the West Bank.

The Israeli Defense Forces spokesman said that the army has opened an investigation into the incident, conducted jointly with the Border Police, who arrested the three settlers during a protest deemed illegal between the Palestinian city of Ramallah and the settlement of Beit El.

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Some 50 people took part in the demonstration, protesting recent terror attacks in the area.

>> Read more: Cabinet ministers join settler protest of government response to West Bank attacks, vow 'action' ■ As attacks rise, Abbas' weakness and Israeli elections talk may hurt war on terror

Eyewitnesses said the two soldiers tried to make policemen release the suspects. The policemen pushed at least one of the soldiers to the ground after he became violent, according to one eyewitness.

The confrontation between IDF soldiers and Border Police follows reports of multiple attacks and attempted attacks during the past week. Two Israeli soldiers were killed and another soldier and a civilian woman were seriously wounded in a drive-by shooting on Thursday near the West Bank settlement of Ofra.

On Friday, another Israeli soldier was seriously wounded when a Palestinian man reached his outpost and assaulted him with a rock and a knife. He later turned himself in to Israeli authorities on Saturday.

These attacks came several days after six Israelis were wounded and a baby, who was delivered after his mother was, died in a similar drive-by shooting on Sunday in the same area.