Itamar man: Cops came at 5 a.m. wanting to check my gun

Resident says police wanted to see if firearm had been used to kill a Palestinian in W. Bank village; settlers ask for meeting with Aharonovitch.

By
April 1, 2011 04:09
3 minute read.
Itamar settlement in the West Bank

Itamar 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

When he heard people pounding at his door at 5 a.m. Thursday morning, Itamar resident Moshe Ronsky said his first thought was, “There was another terror attack.”

Ronsky told The Jerusalem Post that he lives just 200 meters away from the Fogel home, where a terrorist stabbed the two parents and three of their children to death earlier this month.

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“Then, like now, I was awakened by someone pounding at my door,” he said.

But this time, it was the police wanting to confiscate his gun, to see if it had been used to kill a Palestinian who had threatened a pedestrian with a rock near the West Bank village of Iraq Burin.

They also wanted to question Ronsky about the incident.

“It’s 5 a.m. and police are knocking at my door. We jumped from our beds believing there is another infiltration. We seriously panicked,” Ronsky said.

He was afraid to open the door, but calmed down a bit when he heard the voice of the settlement’s security officer, who explained the situation.

Unsure of what was going on, he called his father, former IDF chief chaplain Avi Ronsky, who lives five minutes away.

When he understood that they were at his son’s door because his son owned a Glock gun, similar to the one used in the Iraq Burin attack, Avi Ronsky said he, too, had that kind of gun and wanted to know if every gun owner was suspect.

Judea and Samaria Police said Ronsky’s account of events was distorted. A spokesman said a moderately sized team of detectives had gone to the younger Ronsky’s home with a court-ordered search warrant.

This was a “basic investigative” measure taken as part of an inquiry into a recent shooting in the area, and officers had no intention of arresting Ronsky, Judea and Samaria Police spokesman Gili Elhadad said.

“We wanted to collect his firearm for analysis. This was trivial,” he explained, adding, “We brought Itamar’s security officer with us. The security officer phoned Ronsky to say he was at the door with police.”

According to Elhadad, Ronsky refused to cooperate with police.

Avi Ronsky then contacted the detectives and asked if his son could come to Judea and Samaria Police headquarters in Mevaseret Adumim later in the morning.

Officers agreed to the request and left the area.

Moshe Ronsky arrived at the police station on Thursday afternoon with the firearm, police said.

“There was no shouting and no force used. We were considerate of Ronsky and allowed him to arrive at a later time,” Elhadad said.

Moshe Ronsky said he had answered their questions and returned home. He told the Post that it was inappropriate for the officers to have arrived at his home so early in the morning, further traumatizing him and his family at a sensitive time, when they could easily have asked him to arrive at the station at a normal time of day.

He was not the only gun owner police investigated Thursday. They also detained for questioning the secretary in Elon Moreh, who is a platoon commander in the reserves and also owns a Glock gun.

The Thursday morning incidents came in the aftermath of a number of clashes with security forces, including one that broke out between settlers and police late Tuesday when officers arrived at the Givat Ronen outpost to arrest a suspect.

Last month, security forces used plastic bullets against settlers when clashes broke out during the demolition of three illegal structures at the Gilad Farm outpost.

On Thursday, Samaria Regional Council head Gershon Mesika asked for an urgent meeting with Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, saying the minister must investigate these serious matters and halt a deteriorating situation.

Dani Dayan, who heads the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, also turned to Aharonovitch and asked for a meeting with the heads of the settler communities.

He told the media that police actions that morning in Samaria and in Itamar in particular were intolerable.


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