Yishai criticizes Border Police violence at Gilad Farm

In "Day of Rage" protests, settlers block roads, holding signs that read: "Barack Hussein Obama, with friends like these who needs enemies."

By JPOST.COM STAFF
March 3, 2011 17:39
2 minute read.
Interior Minister Eli Yishai.

Eli Yishai 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

As right wing activists held a "Day of Rage" on Thursday, Interior Minister Eli Yishai criticized the use of force by Border Police against settlers during the demolition of three structures at the Gilad Farm outpost earlier this week.

In an interview with Army Radio, Yishai said that such evacuations should be made "patiently through dialogue," as opposed to through force.

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The Shas chairman added that if it became necessary to carry out such an operation through force, it should be carried out "with a great deal of understanding."

As part of Thursday's "Day of Rage," several protesters were arrested when they blocked the El-Al junction, near Ben Gurion International Airport.

Several activists also blocked a road at the entrance to Ramallah, holding up signs which read, "Barack Hussein Obama, with friends like these who needs enemies," Army Radio reported.

Earlier on Thursday, about 15 protesters attempted to block Route 1 near Latrun with tires. Two policemen failed to clear the road, until more arrived and the route was opened 15 minutes later. Protesters also briefly blocked the train tracks from Ben-Gurion Airport to Modi'in on Thursday.

In addition, burning tires were placed at the entrance to Jerusalem, blocking traffic early Thursday morning. Police moved the impromptu roadblocks to the side of the road and traffic slowly resumed its morning pace. It was not immediately clear who placed the burning tires.

The protests came in response to the demolition of several illegally constructed buildings in the West Bank outpost of Gilad Farm on Monday.

Army radio reported that in addition to blocking roads throughout the country, "price tag operations" were expected to be carried out. "Price tag" is the name given to acts of vandalism against Palestinians in response to state actions against settlements.

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 West Bank.

Israel Police Insp.-Gen. Dudi Cohen on Tuesday held discussions with senior police officials to evaluate the situation in the West Bank after settlers claimed that police allegedly used rubber bullets during the Gilad Farm demolition.

"At this time we must show responsibility, restraint and avoid an escalation in violence at any cost. The Israeli police will be prepared for any scenario," Cohen said.


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