Israel Police: Forces Acted Proportionally in Evacuating West Bank Outpost

Investigation by Judea and Samaria District Police into clashes which erupted during demolition of illegal structures in Havat Gilad outpost found that police acted in a 'professional and restrained' manner.

A police investigation found Sunday that Israel's demolition of illegal structures at the Havat Gilad outpost in the West Bank last week was proportionate and restrained.

Last week, violent clashes erupted in Havat Gilad between settlers and security forces, who came to the scene in order to demolish several illegal structures. Some of the police forces were armed with paint ball guns, and soldiers fired at the settlers after rocks were thrown at them.

Thirteen people were hit by rubber bullets in the clashes, settlers said. Eight settlers were arrested, sparking protests, which included blocking junctions in the West Bank and intersections in Jerusalem.

Following the events, the Judea and Samaria District Police launched an investigation into the evacuation, which the settlers claimed was violent.

Soldier, Havat Gilad - Moti Milrod
Moti Milrod

The findings of the investigation were handed to Israel's Police Commissioner Dudi Cohen on Sunday, which claimed that the police acted legally during the evacuation, and that the demolition was planned well in advance and in accordance with Israel's Civil Administration and the Central Command.

Moreover, the investigation found that the police's method of scattering the protesters at the Havat Gilad outpost was in line with Israel Police guidelines and noted that police forces used paint ball guns, as opposed to more lethal weapons.

"In comparison to the size of the event and its sensitive nature, the police's methods of scattering the protesters were proportional, restrained and professional," the probe panel found.

The Havat Gilad outpost evacuation spurred wide protests last week, with right-wing activists organizing several protests, as well as 'day of rage' last Thursday to deter the government from dismantling outposts.