3 police injured while evacuating illegal outpost

Police, settlers clash during evacuation of Yissa Bracha outpost in W. Bank; 6 settlers lightly hurt, 6 arrested.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
January 19, 2012 08:37
2 minute read.
Outpost demolition [file]

Mitzpe Yitzhar outpost 311. (photo credit: (Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post))

 
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The demolition of a small West Bank outpost by security forces resulted in injuries and arrests overnight on Thursday.

Police accompanied the IDF’s civil administration on a mission to clear the Yisa Bracha outpost, near the Mitzpe Jericho settlement.

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During the demolition of six temporary structures, one settler climbed up on a roof and refused to come down, police said. When officers arrived to evacuate the man, the roof collapsed, lightly injuring three police officers. They were taken to hospital.

Six settlers were also lightly injured, and three were arrested during clashes with security forces. They were later released. Restraining orders barring them from returning to the area for 100 days were issued.

The settlers said they were peacefully protesting the demolitions when they were attacked by security forces with tear gas. Police, however, said they encountered violence from activists on the scene, adding that officers faced stone throwing, burning tires and deliberate oil spills on the roads.

Several hours earlier, security forces evacuated an illegal structure in the small Oz Zion outpost, near the Givat Assaf outpost. Both outposts are located near the Beit El settlement, just off Route 60. Border Police also evacuated an illegally constructed tent near Kiryat Arba, Army Radio reported.

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In the wake of the evacuations, National Union MK Michael Ben-Ari accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak of waging an “obsessive” campaign against settlers.

“Since the period of the [Gaza] disengagement, there has not been this kind of systematic action,” Ben-Ari told Army Radio. “Expelling babies in the middle of the night and injuring residents only serves to encourage the youth to carry out harsh price-tag responses,” he added.

Police said that the evacuations were carried out with “professionalism and sensitivity.”

Both Yisa Bracha and Oz Zion are newly created sites that are not part of the formal outpost list compiled in 2005 by attorney Talia Sasson.

Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.

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