In a series of “price-tag” incidents, angry right wing extremists in the Samaria
area of the West Bank attacked a military base, two IDF commanders and
Palestinian vehicles late Monday night and early Tuesday morning to protest the
pending demolition of the unauthorized Ramat Gilad outpost.
organized incidents by “Jewish rioters” were very “serious,” OC Central Command
Maj.-Gen. Avi Mizrahi told reporters on Tuesday afternoon.
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saw the people, the rioters, that threw stones and cursed our soldiers and
I have not seen such hatred of Jews toward soldiers during my
30 years of service,” he said.
On Monday night, for the second night in a
row, a series of SMS messages and telephone calls alerted activists of troop
movement in the Samaria area consistent with pre-evacuation activity.
response, around 11:30 p.m. right-wing extremists attacked Palestinian cars in
the Samaria area and injured one Palestinian woman, according to security
On Route 55, the Israeli extremists surrounded an IDF vehicle.
At one point, an extremist opened the vehicle’s door and threw a rock at the
commander of the Ephraim Brigade, Col. Ran Cahana, according to security
An IDF spokesman said that at that time, they received numerous
reports of rock throwing incidents against Palestinians; not all of which were
Around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday some 30-50 Israeli extremists,
including many teens, broke into the Ephraim brigade headquarters, located down
a small road from the Kedumim settlement in Samaria, according to security
Most of the combat soldiers normally stationed there were
involved in activities outside the base, Mizrahi said.
burned tires, spread nails on a road and threw stones and paint bottles at
vehicles, the IDF spokesman said.
According to Mizrahi they also
punctured the tires of two vehicles. A rock was also thrown at the deputy
brigade commander Harpaz Zur.
The rioters, he said, yelled at Zur, whose
grandmother is a Holocaust survivor, that he was a “Nazi.”
spoke with reporters outside the Ephraim brigade he defended the actions of
those soldiers on the base, who did not arrest the extremists.
first priority, he said, was to defend the base, by forcing the vandals out. In
some cases, they tussled with the activists and physically forced them out, he
According to Border Police, one 20-year-old resident of Beit El was
arrested for trying to block an access road to the base by placing stones across
Mizrahi said the Ephraim Brigade headquarters are there so soldiers
can work day and night to defend Israeli citizens in the area against terror
attacks. The ID0F, he said, should not have to “protect the base from Jewish
rioters.” Israeli forces have a responsibility to uphold the law and to execute
government orders, such as the demolition of outposts, he said. Order, Mizrahi
said, has to be restored before the severity of these incidents
“If the government orders us to evacuate Ramat Gilad, we will
do it,” he said.
He called on settlement leaders to do more to halt such
“I have not heard a serious enough condemnation,” he
But Dani Dayan, who heads the Council of Jewish Communities of
Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, said Tuesday that such actions were
Dayan personally called Cahana to apologize and told him that
he understands how hard he works to safeguard Israeli lives.
“price-tag” attack against the Ephraim Brigade is the second such incident
against an army base. In September vandals infiltrated an IDF base outside the
Beit El settlement in the Binyamin region of the West Bank. They punctured tires
and torched a vehicle.
Most often Palestinians are the target of
“price tag” attacks, in which right-wing extremists seek retribution for IDF
actions against settlers and settlement activity.
In addition to the
price tag attacks in Samaria late Monday night and early Tuesday morning, a
number of Jewish worshipers illegally entered the Palestinian city of Nablus to
pray at Joseph’s Tomb.
Also on Monday night, in the Jordan Valley, some
30 right-wing extremists executed a more unusual “price-tag” attack to protest
Jordan’s appeal to Israel not to close the Mugrabi Bridge that leads to the
They breached the security barrier between Israel and
Jordan, but did not cross the international border.
They tried to create
an outpost in an abandoned building by the Jordan River.
evacuated by the IDF and the border police early Tuesday morning. Police
arrested 17 of the activists but had released all but seven as of Tuesday night.