Ya'alon: Settlers that attack IDF will be tried in court

Deputy PM: Shin Bet is working to find, arrest perpetrators, IDF soldiers didn't fire on activists because they were Jews; OC Central Command head: I've never seen this type of event in my 30 years of service.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
December 13, 2011 17:47
2 minute read.
Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe 'Bogie' Ya'alon.

yaalon office 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon said that activist violence early Tuesday morning against IDF property and personnel was intolerable, and vowed to arrest those involved and bring them to trial.

Ya'alon told Army Radio the actions of the settler and right-wing activists who  busted into the Efraim Regional Brigade Headquarters in the West Bank is "breaking the law."

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"We'll take treat the perpetrators according to the law," Ya'alon said. "The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) is making efforts to bring them to justice."

Ya'alon, also the strategic affairs minister, said the incident was "rooted in the disengagement" of settlers from property in the West Bank.

He declared that "we must arrest these people, conduct an investigation and bring them to the courts" in an "efficient manner."   

Ya'alon said that IDF soldiers were "not expecting that Jews would attack them," adding that "of course in this situation soldiers don't open fire even if they think their lives might be in danger, like they may in other circumstances."

The strategic affairs minister said that were an event similar to this one to occur in the future, he would advise IDF personell to detain the violent protesters as quickly as possible, and pass them over to the police.

Ya'alon also noted that these activists are "not representative of the general settler population."

Earlier, OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Avi Mizrahi expressed shock to the violence , saying he had never seen "such hatred directed by Jews towards soldiers" in his 30 years in service.

"I served in the area, and I saw with my own eyes [activists] throwing rocks and attacking soldiers," Mizrahi said.

Mizrahi also noted that the event was not spontaneous, and that it was a direct reaction to the government mandate that the army clear illegally built outposts in Judea and Samaria.

The settlers and right-wing activists broke into the Efraim Regional Brigade Headquarters located near the settlement of Kedumim early Tuesday morning.

They punctured the tires of nearby military vehicles and hurled rocks at brigade commander Col. Ran Kahane as he drove nearby in his military jeep. He was not injured.

The infiltrators were pushed out of the base by IDF troops and Israel Police forces alerted to the scene.

One individual was arrested Tuesday morning for obstructing the entrance to the base with stones, according to police. The suspect, a Beit El resident born in 1991, resisted arrest.

The IDF said that it would not stop carrying out its operations in the West Bank and that "violence against soldiers would not deter it." The IDF said that it expected rabbinic and settler leaders to condemn the incident.


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