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Sources in the security services said the settlers threw stones at them and shoved them in an effort to prevent the eviction.
But the settlers said they were attacked by the security forces rather than vice versa. They said the police used tear gas and other riot-dispersal tactics “for no reason at all” against local residents who were merely “protesting the demolition.”
The security forces confirmed the use of riot-dispersal tactics.
Soldiers, members of the Border Police, regular police and officials from Israel’s Civil Administration in the West Bank all converged Monday morning on the outpost of Yishuv Hada’at to evict a family from their home and then demolish the building.
Yishuv Hada’at is located in the Binyamin region, not far from the settlement of Shiloh north of Jerusalem. Residents say the house at issue was built on state land, just like other buildings in the outpost, so it isn’t clear why this one building was demolished and the others were left intact.
Residents also said Civil Administration personnel had sought to disconnect a utility pole in recent months, but after politicians intervened, the pole and its power lines were left intact.
“The security forces are behaving terribly,” one resident said. “They’re throwing a family with babies out of the house on a wintry day. This situation can’t continue. The government is responsible for the despicable deed done here today.”
Zvi Sukkot, head of the far-right group Otzma Yehudit, was also present during the eviction and also disputed the security services’ account.
“Not a single stone was thrown,” he said. “I was standing there and demonstrating. They grabbed me, laid me down on the floor and beat me; they sprayed my face with tear gas. And all this happened while the entire eviction was illegal and even the [Civil Administration] inspectors couldn’t explain why they were demolishing the house.”
Sukkot said he was very disappointed that this was happening at a time when the Defense Ministry was controlled by two rightist politicians — Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan of Habayit Hayehudi and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman of Yisrael Beiteinu.