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17 indicted for protest against Gilad Farms demolition
By MELANIE LIDMAN
03/01/2011
Protesters try to block roads in J'lem, attack police officers; following Gilad Farm clashes, Barak says disturbances damage rule of law.
 
Seventeen right-wing protesters who tried to block major roads in Jerusalem on Monday night in reaction to the Gilad Farm demolitions were served with indictments on Tuesday. Ten of the protesters indicted were youths.

Police requested that they be released only with court-ordered restraining orders that would prevent them from entering Jerusalem. The protesters were indicted for disturbing the peace, attacking police officers, and hindering police movements during the course of the three hour protest.

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"At this time we must show responsibility, restraint and avoid an escalation in violence at any cost. The Israeli police will be prepared for any scenario," said Israel Police Insp.-Gen Dudi Cohen said on Tuesday. He added that the Judea and Samaria police would be investigating the incidents surrounding the Gilad Farm demolition protests and present their findings in the coming days. In the meantime, police would be allowing “legitimate and legal protests only.”

Earlier Tuesday, in reaction to clashes that took place in the Gilad Farm outpost, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that, "We can not let citizens take the law into their hands."

"These disturbances damage the rule of law in the country," Barak said during a tour of the Givati Brigade's training in the Negev.

"They are not representative of the people, they are actions carried out by small groups whose behavior is inappropriate and we will continue to deal the problem," the defense minister said. Barak went on to say that "there was provocation, use of force and resistance to orders of people sent by the state."

In total, police arrested 25 suspects for disturbing the peace on Monday night at the demonstration. Eight of the protesters were released later on Monday night without indictments but with a restraining order from Jerusalem.

Police added that 25 of the roughly 150 demonstrators were students at Mercaz Harav Yeshiva.

Also on Monday night, eight additional female protesters were arrested for disturbing the peace in the Ramot neighborhood of Jerusalem at the house of Deputy State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan. The protesters blame Nitzan the Gilad Farm demolitions. Two weeks ago, hundreds of signs were posted around Jerusalem and the West Bank claiming Shai Nitzan is "an enemy of the Torah" in connection with the the arrest warrant issued against Rabbi Dov Lior.

Jpost.com staff contributed to this report.
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