Israeli Settlers Attack Israeli Army Ambulance Called to Help Other Settlers

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The military ambulance after being pelted with stones at Yizhar settlement, West Bank, June 17, 2017.
The military ambulance after being pelted with stones at Yizhar settlement, West Bank, June 17, 2017.Credit: IDF Spokesman

Jewish settlers pelted an Israel Defense Forces ambulance in the West Bank with stones Saturday. The ambulance arrived at the Yitzhar settlement in the northern West Bank to give medical treatment to local settlers.

According to the army, the ambulance came to Yitzhar "at the request of residents, to grant medical treatment to a number of them who suffered from dehydration. Afterwards, at the exit from Yitzhar, residents threw stones at the ambulance, damaging its windshield."

>> How many settlers really live in the West Bank? Haaretz investigation reveals <<

Traffic spikes were installed at the entrance to the restive settlement on Friday to prevent military forces from entering, the army said.

"For the IDF, this event crosses a red line," the army said in a statement, condemning the settlers. "The IDF will continue to act and enforce the law and order in Judea and Samaria," referring to the West Bank.

Local settlers distances themselves from the incident, telling Haaretz that as of now, the residents, "even the most radical," do not know who threw the stones at the soldiers. One of them even claimed that it wasn't residents of Yitzhar, but guests who had come to the settlement. "This is a serious and outrageous incident, we vehemently reject it," a resident told Haaretz.

Another resident told Haaretz that such events need to be put to an end, adding that "the incident was being examined by Yitzhar's residents."

In the past weeks, a number of incidents of settlers throwing stones were reported, as well as alleged attacks on left-wing activists and Palestinians in the vicinity of Yitzhar. Even though a few of these incidents were recorded – on video and in pictures – no arrests have yet been made, their investigations allegedly ongoing.

In some incidents, soldiers were captured on video at the scene and yet no arrests were made.

On April 14, a similar incident took place near the Baladim outpost, considered the symbol of West Bank radicalism, and home to many held to be part of the hard core of the so-called "Hilltop youths". At the time, masked settlers attacked an army jeep. Despite the fact that the incident was recorded on video and that at least three of the attackers are not masked, only one person was arrested and was later released after he presented an alibi. 

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