Settlers demonstrate near Efraim Brigade HQ

Protesters shout "Jews do not expel Jews"; Netanyahu condemns violence at Knesset plenum after 50 settlers attack IDF base in W. Bank.

December 13, 2011 18:59
2 minute read.
Settlers protesting in Jerusalem [file]

Settlers protesting in Jerusalem 311 Reu. (photo credit: Baz Ratner / Reuters)

A demonstration broke out near the Efraim Regional Brigade Headquarters Tuesday afternoon, in which settlers were shouting "Jews do not expel Jews."

The protest followed an incident that occurred early
Tuesday morning, when fifty settlers and right-wing Jewish activists broke into an IDF base in the West Bank. The activists burned tires, spread nails on the roads, vandalized cars and threw rocks at the jeep of a senior officer.

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The episode, the latest in a series of so-called "price tag" attacks by settlers and right-wing activists against Palestinians and the IDF, came just hours after security forces evacuated about 20 activists from an abandoned building they had raided along Israel's border with Jordan.

During a speech to the Knesset plenum commemorating 50 years since the Eichmann trial Netanyahu said, "a small group among those who are faithful to the Land of Israel think that they can cancel loyalty to the state and the law. This is a danger to democracy and our state."

The prime minister stated that anyone who would raise his hand to hurt IDF soldiers or police officers would be punished to the full extent of the law.

He demanded that the law be enforced, so that Israeli sovereignty would not be harmed.

Netanyahu asked senior security officials to prepare an emergency plan to deal with settler violence against the IDF, following the recent events of Monday night and Tuesday morning.

"We need to stop this now," Netanyahu said at the Knesset while attending a film screening Tuesday afternoon. "This is something small that could become something larger and bad. We will stop it now."

Earlier Tuesday Netanyahu convened an emergency meeting with senior security officials in his office following the attack by some 50 settlers on an army base in the West Bank. Among those attending were Defense Minister Ehud Barak, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz, OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Avi Mizrahi, Police Commissioner Insp.-Gen. Yochanan Danino and Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch.

Also speaking about the settler violence, Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon said that the attack against IDF property and personnel was intolerable, and vowed to arrest those involved and bring them to trial.

Ya'alon told Army Radio the actions of the settler and right-wing activists that busted into the Efraim Regional Brigade Headquarters in the West Bank is "breaking the law."

Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the IDF to use all of the resources at its disposal to prevent further “price tag” attacks and to capture the perpetrators of Tuesday’s morning’s attack.

Of the border fence attack, Barak said: “These actions are dangerous and also threaten the delicate ties between Israel and its neighbors."

Yesha Council Charmian Danny Dayan called Col. Kahane Tuesday morning to denounce the incident. "As the head of the Yesha council, and no less as a resident of the zone you command, I know well what important work you and the commanders and soldiers in your division every day and every night for it protection," Dayan said, calling the perpetrators "shameful and ungrateful."

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