5 Border Police hurt in attempt to evacuate outpost

Settlers throw stones at security forces who abandon attempt to evacuate illegal Oz Zion outpost near Beit El before Shabbat.

December 28, 2012 18:44
2 minute read.
Illegal structure demolished in Oz Zion [file]

Demolished structure in Oz Zion outpost 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Some 200 settlers clashed with security forces attempting to evacuate the illegal West Bank outpost of Oz Zion near the Beit El settlement on Friday.

The settlers threw stones at security forces, who eventually abandoned the evacuation attempt prior to the start of the Sabbath. Channel 2 quoted IDF officials as saying the evacuation would be resumed after the Sabbath on Saturday evening.

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Five Border Police officers were lightly injured in the incident and treated on the scene. One settler was arrested for attacking a police officer.

Tzipi Livni attacked the Likud and Bayit Yehudi following the incident, saying they bore the responsibility for a situation in which the IDF and police could come under attack from settlers.

"The extreme right-wing's clashes with soldiers, with the backing of their political rabbis, and the fact that IDF soldiers are forced to subdue this outburst on the Sabbath, should enlighten every mother and father on what these elections are about," Livni stated.

"The extreme-Right, which has taken control of Likud and Bayit Yehudi is clashing with IDF soldiers, doing as it pleases in the territories and forcing the IDF and the police to deal with this instead of security."

Livni added that the rabbis leading the settlers who clashed with the security forces were the "rabbis of [Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali] Bennet. "

"This is [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu's capitulation, and we are all paying the price for this thuggish political extortion," she added.

Livni reiterated her criticism of Bennett on Saturday, but, in an Israel Radio interview, did not rule out the possibility that she would join a coalition including Bayit Yehudi.

The Labor Party also released a statement slamming Netanyahu for failing to hold settlers accountable for breaking the law.

"We call on the prime minister, who says he is strong but when it comes to outposts worryingly becomes weak, to ensure that the laws of the State of Israel will be upheld beyond the Green Line as they are upheld within. Anything else will constitute a terrible blow to Israeli democracy and to the power of the government to rule," the statement read.

Last month, during the demolition of two structures on the outskirts of the Yitzhar settlement, Border Police and settlers accused each other of using force.

An IDF spokesman accused settlers of throwing stones at security forces and of rolling burning tires onto the road that led to the settlement.

Yitzhar spokesman Avraham Binyamin in turn charged that the IDF acted with excessive force and violence against settlement residents.

Some of the incident was filmed, but the darkness made it difficult to distinguish precisely what was happening in the video.

Binyamin said that Yitzhar residents planned to rebuild the homes, but that the bad feelings toward the IDF were harder to repair.

Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.

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