Right-wing activists plan a “Day of Rage” Thursday to protest the Border Police’s alleged use of rubber
bullets against settlers at the unauthorized Gilad Farm outpost on
17 indicted for protest against Gilad Farms demolition
Barak: We can't let citizens take law into their own hands
Police chief: We must show restraint in West Bank
Already on Tuesday, extremist activists engaged in a number of
“price tag” activities, smashing Palestinian car windows, throwing a Molotov
cocktail into a home and rolling burning tires into two West Bank Palestinian
villages. On Monday night, activists blocked roads in Jerusalem and the
Clashes with police at the two Jerusalem demonstrations led to
the arrest of 25 people, 17 of whom were indicted Tuesday in the Jerusalem
Magistrate’s and District courts. Ten of those indicted were under
Another eight protesters who were arrested were later released, but
only after restraining orders were issued against them to prevent their entering
Eight settlers arrested at Gilad Farm early Monday morning
were released that night.
Settlers said that security forces’ use of
rubber bullets against them for the first time ever crossed all red lines. They
have filed a complaint with the police, demanding an
Police have insisted that they fired only paint balls from
the guns, which are used to defuse demonstrations.
In protest, senior
national religious Rabbi Haim Druckman complained to Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu’s bureau over the “the intentional firing at
Druckman had hoped to meet with Netanyahu in person, but the
premier was on his way to the North, so the message was relayed instead to
Netanyahu’s bureau chief Natan Eshel.
“It would be proper that in such
cases – of evacuating a small tent – there would be dialogue with the settlers,
instead of preparing for battle with the Jewish residents,” Druckman said,
adding, “The Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria are not enemies of the state,
and should not be shot at.”
Druckman’s aide Efraim Meir said Eshel had
told him in response that after the Gilad Farm incident, Netanyahu had held a
meeting attended by Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Attorney-General Yehuda
Weinstein, Vice Premier Moshe Ya’alon and incoming police chief Cmdr. Yohanan
Danino. During that meeting, he said, the premier laid the blame for the
shootings and for harming the settlers’ religious sentiments squarely on the
On Tuesday, Barak slammed the settlers’ disregard for
the law at Gilad Farm, and clarified that the “rioters” there represented only a
fraction of the otherwise law-abiding residents of Judea and
“The government must maintain its authority over its citizens,”
Barak said. “We are a nation of laws, and citizens can’t be allowed to take the
law into their own hands.”
Barak spoke with reporters as he toured the
Givati training base in the South.
“I think that these riots are harmful
to the rule of law and even to the settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria,”
he said. “They [the rioters] do not represent us. They are individuals or small
groups whose actions are unworthy, and we will deal with them.”
defended the security forces, who he said had used force only after protesters
had disrupted them during the legal execution of their duties. He added
that it was provocative on the part of the settlers to use force to disrupt
Barak warned that he would deal with the Gilad Farm
outpost at the right time and in the appropriate manner, just as security forces
would deal with continuous and systematic violations of law in other
places. Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin also slammed illegal outpost
construction and spoke of the importance of upholding the law.
action against the law harms the moral basis of settlement in the land of
Israel,” Rivlin told The Jerusalem Post.
He warned that such activity
damaged the legitimacy of Israel’s ability to hold on to the areas where such
activity occurred. It is important to heed the police, who are charged with
upholding the law, he added.
Rivlin spoke harshly about the “price tag”
policy, in which extreme right-wing activists seek revenge against Palestinians
for IDF actions against settlers.
“It can’t be that anyone who wants to
determines what the law is, what the price is and what the tag is. There
is a government in Israel. There is law and order. And we have to be
careful to preserve them,” he said.
Separately, while in the South on
Tuesday, Barak addressed the topic of Kfir Brigade soldier Shimon Weisman, whose
house was among the three structures demolished at Gilad Farm on
The moment he heard of the demolition, Weisman left unit and
returned to the outpost. He told the media that he did not intend to return to
the army until he had rebuilt his home.
“Citizens are subject to the laws
of the country, and soldiers are subject to the Army Judiciary and the
behavioral standards demanded of soldiers, and we must deal with all of these
issues with seriousness if we are to be a society that wants to steer its fate
in the right direction, and not to let anarchy rule over it,” Barak
In a statement issued on Monday, the IDF called the soldier’s
behavior “severe,” adding that “the IDF does not choose its missions and expects
its soldiers not to mix politics and their IDF service.”
An officer with
the IDF Spokesman’s Office told the Post on Tuesday that the incident was viewed
with severity, but that the army saw it as an isolated incident and did not
expect any sort of wave of desertions or refusal of orders following the
demolitions in the outpost.Melanie Lidman and Rebecca Anna Stoil
contributed to this report.