At least 15 right-wing activists and three police officers were injured on Sunday night in the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar as they clashed during the arrest of one of the community’s residents, Neria Zarug.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for “the law to be respected and for an immediate halt to violence against the security forces,” his office said. “IDF soldiers and Border Police forces, which guard us all, must be allowed to carry out their work. Violations of the law will not be tolerated,” the Prime Minister’s Office added. The stand-off lasted for about five hours, until officers were able to burst into a building and extricated Zarug, who had chained himself into a metal apparatus in an apartment so that it would be difficult to arrest him. It was reported that Zarug was injured during the arrest.Police said they had encountered violence upon entering the community and were pelted with stones, paint bottles and other objects. A number of security vehicles were also damaged.Security forces had already given Zarug an administrative injunction, barring him from Yitzhar.His case was publicized by settlers and right-activists, who oppose the security forces’ use of such administrative injunctions. Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich (Bayit Yehudi) is among those who have called for his release.The stand-off around the building began after 4 p.m. The right-wing organization Honenu reported that police officers had used violence against the activists, including tear gas and batons, and estimated that at least 15 activists were injured. The group, which helps defend activists against the police, sent out multiple reports on the incident.The violence around Zarug’s arrest is the most serious incident in a series of violent clashes between right-wing extremists and security forces in the area of Yitzhar. Two police officers were lightly injured in past incidents involving stone throwing. In one incident, a Border Police tent was set on fire.
Clashes between settlers and Israel Police in the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar, Nov. 10, 2019 (Credit: Hillel Meir/TPS)