(photo credit: AP [file])
The Israel Police and the IDF are considering imposing sanctions on the Yitzhar settlement, defense officials said on Wednesday, a day after settlers attacked a group of soldiers preventing them from approaching a nearby Palestinian village.
At least one settler was in police custody after the Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court extended the 16-year-old’s remand by one day. The boy was arrested after he was spotted puncturing the tires of a military jeep near the settlement.
“The Israel Police and the Border Police will take a hard hand against the lawless rioters,” the Border Police said.
One of the sanctions behind considered is to increase the presence of policemen and patrol cars in Yitzhar and to ensure that all laws are enforced, even the most minor traffic regulations.
“Many steps are under consideration. This is one of them,” a defense official said.
The IDF is increasingly concerned that settler violence may ignite the West Bank and lead to an escalation in Palestinian terrorism. Data obtained by Military Intelligence and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) has shown in the past that settler violence leads to an increase in Palestinian attacks.
The incident near Yitzhar began on Tuesday afternoon, when soldiers
spotted Jewish youths heading toward a nearby spring that is off limits
to settlers due to its proximity to a Palestinian village. The soldiers
asked the youngsters to return to Yitzhar, and after several minutes of
arguing, a larger group arrived, including some in masks, who began
throwing stones and light bulbs filled with paint at the soldiers, one
of whom was lightly injured when a bulb hit him in the face.
IDF sources said that the boys involved in the incident were likely not
residents of Yitzhar but were probably students at a yeshiva there.
“These youths are extremely radical,” a senior officer said. “The residents are not problematic. These youths are.”
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