Israel Police Arrests 6 Suspects in West Bank Firebomb Attack

Twelve people lightly wounded during confrontations between Border Police and settlers as IDF soldiers dismantled illegal structures in the outpost of Alei Ain in the northern West Bank.

Police forces arrested six people on Thursday over their alleged link to a firebomb attack on a senior police officer's vehicle, during the dismantling of illegal structures in a West Bank outpost.

Twelve people were lightly wounded overnight Wednesday during confrontations between Border Police and settlers as IDF soldiers dismantled illegal structures in the outpost of Alei Ain near the Shilo settlement in the northern West Bank.

Clashes in West Bank - Yitzhak Levinson - June 2, 2011
Yitzhak Levinson

Six border police officers and five settlers were injured as some 200 IDF soldiers and border police officers arrived at the outpost at around 3:00 A.M. to dismantle four illegal structures.

Five of those arrested on Thursday were detained as they were leaving the scene of the confrontation, and on their way to their Samaria home. The other suspect was apprehended in a hothouse overlooking the scene.

One of those arrested, A., whose full name is withheld by police, is a staff photographer and reporter for the "Hakol Hayehudi" (The Jewish Voice), a news website operated by the students of Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburg of the Samaria settlement of Itzhar.

When arrested, A. had in his possession cameras containing a documentation of the Alei Ain events, pictures which sources close to suspect are saying police are trying to repress.

Speaking to Haaretz later Thursday, Avraham Benyamin, of "Hakol Hayehudi," said that the arrest was another case in which the police were trying to prevent material that incriminates police officers from being published. "This is criminal behavior," he said, adding that "this isn't the first time that Judea and Samaria Police destroys evidence and documentation of police brutality."

Police representatives are expected to request the suspects be remanded in a court hearing scheduled for Friday.

The residents, who were prepared for the evacuation, blocked all roads to the outpost using large rocks and nails.

During the confrontation, settlers hurled a firebomb at the vehicle of the police commander of the settlement of Benyamin.

Police claim the settlers violently resisted the evacuation and hurled rocks at police forces, while settlers claim the army and police forces used stun grenades against them. Three settlers were consequently arrested.

Last week, a group of right-wing activists attempted to erect a new outpost in the E-1 corridor of the West Bank near Ma'aleh Adumim, an area which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had covertly promised the United States that Israel would not build in.