An IDF officer’s car was vandalized after Border Police and Yitzhar residents
clashed Wednesday over Israeli-Arab workers entering the West Bank
Three Yitzhar minors were arrested in the incident – two for
violating a restraining order and one for causing a disturbance.
security source said he viewed the violence against the military vehicle very
“The IDF defends the settlement out of a sense of mission and
love,” he added.
The source observed that the IDF usually has no problem
with Yitzhar residents.
Yitzhar spokesman Avraham Binyamin said the
attack on the military vehicle was an isolated incident by a teenager who was
upset by the actions of the security officers.
Yitzhar has a policy of
allowing Jewish labor only, Binyamin explained; thus its residents were angry to
learn Wednesday morning that the IDF had contracted a company, which planned to
use Israeli-Arab workers to repave a road leading to the the IDF Base Hativa
Shomron, located on the community’s edge.
Women and children came to
block the path of a dump truck with Israeli Arabs carrying sand, which arrived
in Yitzhar at around 11:30 a.m., according to Binyamin.
He said that
Yitzhar residents asked the IDF to replace the Israeli-Arab workers with Jewish
labor, but it refused.
Initially, he continued, the IDF sent 70 Border
Police in 15 vehicles to secure the truck and allow it to pass.
security source said that the demonstration began peacefully but turned
According to a police spokesman, masked men threw rocks and
blocked the truck’s path.
Police – including its special Yassam unit and
Border Police – were called to the scene and were met by a violent protest of a
few dozen people, Border Police said, adding that they eventually managed to
clear the Yitzhar demonstrators; however, rioters broke the back windshield of a
car belonging to an IDF Engineering Corps officer.
An IDF source added
that settlers had also slashed the vehicle’s tires.
No rioters, police or
workers were injured.
Binyamin accused the IDF of deliberately provoking
the community, given that its policy of employing Jewish workers only within its
boundaries was well known.
He also accused police of responding with
violence to the passive resistance of women and children.
In the end, the
IDF recalled the Arab workers and brought in Jewish ones to work on the road,
but only as a result of violence, Binyamin concluded.
Had the IDF made
such a choice to start with, the entire incident could have been avoided, he