Israeli Police Raid Settler Yeshiva, Arrest Six for Attacks on Cops, Palestinians

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Border Policemen stand at near the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva in the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar, November 4, 2014.
Border Policemen stand at near the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva in the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar, November 4, 2014.Credit: Moti Milrod

Israel Police arrested six yeshiva students early Monday morning in the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar on suspicion of disturbing the peace.

The police say five of the suspects, all students at the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva, were involved in a number of violent incidents around Yitzhar recently, including throwing stones at security forces and attacking Palestinians who were plowing their fields nearby. A sixth student was arrested after allegedly throwing stones at the forces during their entry into the yeshiva.

The raid is the second of its kind on the yeshiva within a week. Last Wednesday, police forces raided the yeshiva in the middle of the night, arresting two students. One of them, a 14-year-old, is suspected of involvement in riots during the evacuation of the illegal Amona outpost. The second is suspected of attacking a policeman during the raid.

The yeshiva is considered one of the most radical in the West Bank. The controversial book "Torat Hamelech" (“The King’s Torah”), which offers halakhic conditions under which it is permissable to kill non-Jews, was written by rabbis from the yeshiva. Members of Honenu, a right-wing nongovermental organization providing legal assistance for the suspects, said that the five students were released at the end of their questioning, and that the sixth will have his detention extended. The youth’s lawyer denies the charge that he attacked police officers while they were arresting the other students.

Last month, a number of youths threw stones at security forces who were evacuating Amona and barricaded themselves in the outpost's houses. Most of the violence took place at the synagogue, where youths clashed with officers for several hours. It was the last structure of the outpost to be evacuated.

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