The IDF and the Border Police demolished two small homemade stone structures in
an outpost on the outskirts of the Yitzhar settlement early Thursday
One person was arrested for violating an order to stay away from
An IDF spokesman accused settlers of throwing stones at
security forces and of rolling burning tires onto the road that led to the
“The IDF views this very seriously,” he said.
point, he added, a group of settlers attempted to make its way to a Palestinian
village, but in the end it dispersed without doing anything.
spokesman Avraham Binyamin in turn charged that the IDF acted with excessive
force and violence against settlement residents.
Binyamin said that
security forces made a surprise raid on the settlement around 3:30 a.m. to tear
down a home populated by young adults and another one under
Upon entering the settlement, soldiers immediately took the
telephone from the security guard and locked him in the watch room, said
Security forces also surrounded the Od Yosef Hai Yeshiva to
prevent its pupils from racing to defend the structures, Binyamin
The road leading to the settlement was blocked and the few
residents who arrived home at that hour were asked to park their vehicles and
walk to their homes, Binyamin said.
The spokesman also said that security
forces lied to them by saying that it was a military exercise.
at the scene were not allowed to film and their phones or cameras were
confiscated, he said.
He added that the soldiers used excessive force
against the residents.
One Yitzhar resident said that he was pushed
roughly into a bronze pole, and that his head hit the metal.
Some of the
incident was filmed, but the darkness made it difficult to distinguish precisely
what was happening in the video.
Binyamin said that Yitzhar residents
planned to rebuild the homes, but that the bad feelings toward the IDF were
harder to repair.
Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli
Edelstein, however, immediately sent a message to the media in which he accused
Defense Minister Ehud Barak of demolishing the homes as a campaign strategy for
attracting leftwing voters.
He called on Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu to stop Barak from demolishing settler buildings until the election
Edelstein made the accusation that, even under Barak’s tenure
at the head of the Defense Ministry, the IDF has consistently demolished
temporary structures in fledgling outposts.