Yitzhar spokesman: Hilltop youth and IDF must halt spiral of violence

On Friday morning, Jewish extremists attacked soldiers at the entrance to Yitzhar, lightly injuring a Golani commander.

Screenshot from police footage of clashes with settlers in Yitzhar, July 19, 2018 (photo credit: ISRAEL POLICE)
Screenshot from police footage of clashes with settlers in Yitzhar, July 19, 2018
(photo credit: ISRAEL POLICE)
Both the hilltop youth and Israeli security forces must take a step back to ensure that the spiral of violent incidents that have occurred between them over the past week comes to a halt, Yitzhar spokesman Avraham Binyamin told The Jerusalem Post.
He did his best to walk a thin line with regard to the issue, in which he tried to explain the actions of the young male extremist settlers and at the same time strongly condemning their acts of violence against security forces.
Binyamin said that the issue began with an injunction against a Yitzhar resident, forcibly ordering the resident to leave the community for three months. The injunction could not be appealed was done through an administrative process that is not transparent and for which there is no appeal, Binyamin said.
On Wednesday night, he said, the IDF burst into the home of a minor in Yitzhar and violently arrested him. The court ordered his release on Friday.
But in light of that arrest and the administrative injunction, the Yitzhar community decided to halt communication with senior IDF officers, Binyamin said. Warm relations still continue with the soldiers, who on Monday night celebrated with residents the end of the Simhat Torah holiday, but doing a round of dancing.
The community continues to host soldiers for the Sabbath and has an space where they can come to rest and get hot coffee, he explained.
But at the action of the security forces have also created an atmosphere of tension, which helped lead to the attacks, Binyamin said, clarifying that he was not in any way justifying the violence.
On Friday morning, Jewish extremists attacked soldiers at the entrance to Yitzhar, lightly injuring a Golani commander. On Friday night, the IDF came into the settlement on Shabbat to arrest a suspect, who has since been released. On Sunday, a group of some 30 Jewish extremists, believed to be hilltop youth, attacks soldiers in the area of Yitzhar, again injuring one.
That day, the Yitzhar secretariat sent out letter asking the hilltop youth to leave the community, explaining that such actions were scandalous and shameful.
On Monday night, even as soldiers danced with residents, a number of Jewish extremists in the area of Yitzhar attacked a group of border policemen with stones. The offices responded with stun grenades.
Security forces in the last day have focused their activity on a small outpost on the outskirts of Yitzhar called Kumi Ori, declaring a closed military zone. KAN news reported on Tuesday night that the Civil Administration had issued demolition orders for some of the structures and that arrests were expected in the outpost.


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