For the second time in three months, unidentified assailants slashed the tires of an IDF officer’s jeep.
The assailants are suspected to be far-right settlers and their supporters. According to Channel 10, the jeep belonged to an IDF colonel who commands forces in Samaria (northern West Bank).
The incident took place during a visit by Col. Yoav Yarom to the settlement of Yitzhar. Yarom was joined on the trip by Col. Shai Kleper, who is expected to replace him this coming summer.
“This is a very grave incident and it requires that those responsible for it be dealt with in an uncompromising manner,” Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said, adding that it “demands the quick and determined attention of all bodies fighting this phenomenon, primarily our [attention] as a government.”
“Col. Yarom, like other commanders in the area, works tirelessly to protect the residents of the area and the other citizens of Israel, and damaging his vehicle is a despicable act done by a small group of lawbreakers who belong behind bars,” Ya’alon said.
Ya’alon vowed that the authorities would also pursue those who hurled stones at a Border Police officer’s vehicle.
“This is terrorism in the full sense of the word,” the defense minister said.
“We must root out these phenomenons and fight them mercilessly.
We will not permit an extremist, marginal and violent group to raise their hands against the rule of law, ruin our lives and threaten the officers and soldiers of the IDF,” Ya’alon said.
After the first incident, the IDF said it took a grave view of the matter, and Judea and Samaria police launched an investigation.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu condemned the incident, saying: “This criminal act does not represent the settlers in Judea and Samaria.”
“We won’t allow anyone to harm IDF soldiers or commanders.
We will find these criminals and bring them to justice,” the prime minister promised.
Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon stressed the perpetrators of the attack were a minority, “a small bunch of cowards smearing the reputation of the settler population, that backs and contributes to the IDF.”