Israeli Security Forces Clash With Settlers While Enforcing Construction Freeze

Border Police officer struck by rock, as teenagers prevent forces from leaving settlement of Beit El.

A Border Police officer was lightly wounded during clashes in the West Bank settlement of Beit El, as security forces attempted to demolish an illegal structure there.

settlers clashing with police at settlement of Beit El

This was the first clash in nearly a month. Two settler youths were arrested following the incident, on suspicion of hurling rocks at the special police unit.

The forces were on sire to enforce demolition of a cabin and the foundations of another structure laid following declaration of the settlement freeze last December, The Border Police officer was hurt when a settler hurled a rock his way.

Amid the demolition, some 100 teenagers and residents arrived in effort to block the officers' exit from the settlement. After lengthy negotiations, Beit El's chief rabbi agreed to convince the teenagers to loosen their grip and let the security forces leave.

But the teenagers refused to heed the rabbi's instructions and instead began hurling stones at the security forces. The forces in turn began spraying the teenagers with tear gas.

"Netanyahu will forever be remembered as the one who desecrated the memory of [former chief rabbi Mordechai] Eliahu for having cast out an arm on the day of his funeral to continue to destroy the Land of Israel," National Union MK Ya'akov Katz, a resident of Beit El.