New unit to confront ‘price tag’ attacks

Border police force will combat settler rioting in West Bank.

April 27, 2010 06:03
1 minute read.
A border police officer fires a tear gas pellet [i

border police tear gas brilli 311. (photo credit: AP)

In an effort to curb an increase in Jewish settler attacks in northern Samaria, the IDF Central Command has decided to establish a special task force of border policemen to enforce law and order in the Nablus area.

The decision, made by OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Avi Mizrahi on Monday, came less than a week after settlers from Yitzhar violently attacked soldiers near the settlement on Independence Day.

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The task force will be made up of several Border Police companies trained to specialize in dealing with public disturbances.

“The task force will be charged with enforcing law and order and preventing attacks by settlers against Palestinians in the area,” one officer said.

The incident near Yitzhar began last Tuesday afternoon after a soldier spotted a group of youths heading toward a nearby spring that is off limits to the settlers due to its proximity to a Palestinian village.

The soldiers asked the youths to return to the settlement, and after several minutes of arguing, a larger group arrived, including some in masks, who began hurling stones and light bulbs filled with paint at the soldiers. One soldier was lightly wounded when a bulb hit him in the face.

The decision to establish the task force also comes amid concerns in the Central Command that attacks against Palestinians will escalate in the coming months as the government debates a possible extension of the West Bank construction freeze.

Other recent incidents included two Palestinian vehicles being set on fire near Kedumim and spray-painted with the words “price tag” – a term indicating that the rampage was the work of settlers angry over the government’s plan to curb settlement construction. In another incident, a mosque in the Palestinian town of Hawara, south of Nablus, was defiled by masked men who spray-painted a Star of David and the word Muhammad, in Hebrew, on the wall.

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