More than 30 arrested in settlers' 'Day of Rage'

In protests against Gilad Farm violence, activists block roads, hold signs reading: "Barack Hussein Obama, with friends like these who needs enemies."

March 3, 2011 23:56
2 minute read.
Settlers protesting in Jerusalem [file]

Settlers protesting in Jerusalem 311 Reu. (photo credit: Baz Ratner / Reuters)


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Over 30 right-wing activists were arrested on Thursday for disturbing the peace, after they blocked numerous roads during a “Day of Rage” to protest Border Police violence at Gilad Farm on Monday.

The largest demonstration was at the El Al junction, a major intersection near Ben- Gurion Airport, where 20 demonstrators were arrested after attempting to block the road.

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Four activists were also arrested at a demonstration at Gilad Farm. Eight others were arrested in Jerusalem after trying to block major streets. In all cases, traffic resumed within minutes, Jerusalem Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

Activists also tried to block a train near Modi’in, a road near Bat Yam, a road by Latrun and numerous roads in the West Bank, including near Mitzpe Yeriho and Karnei Shomron.

In some instances, the protesters put burning tires on the road. As of press time, B’Tselem said that it had received a report of a car that had been torched, but knew of no other attacks against Palestinians or their property.

Rosenfeld said police were assessing the situation to decide whether to continue the increased patrols for Friday, in light of conflicts that could break out after midday Muslim prayers or in response to “price tag” attacks on Arabs that might be carried out overnight.

Activists announced the Day of Rage after Border Police officers fired plastic bullets at settlers who tried to prevent the destruction of three structures at the Gilad Farm outpost in Samaria on Monday morning; 15 settlers were injured.

Settlers had initially said the officers fired more dangerous rubber bullets at them, but the Border Police denied this. On Wednesday, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said in the Knesset that less dangerous plastic bullets had been used. Still, it was the first time even plastic bullets had been used against settlers.

Kfir Brigade soldier Shimon Weisman, whose home was among those dismantled, was arrested on Thursday for being absent without leave and sentenced to 30 days in prison. He had said he wouldn’t return to his unit until he had rebuilt his home.

As activists sat in the middle of roads, Interior Minister Eli Yishai criticized the Border Police’s actions at Gilad Farm.

In an interview with Army Radio, Yishai said that such evacuations should be made “patiently through dialogue,” and not through force.

The Shas Party chairman added that if it became necessary to carry out such an operation through force, it should be carried out “with a great deal of understanding.”

Jerusalem Post staff contributed to the report.

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