Netanyahu slams settlers over Gilad Farm clashes

PM says settlers undermine current efforts to protect settlements; activists take to J'lem streets; 24 arrested.

February 28, 2011 18:32
2 minute read.
Netanyahu slams settlers over Gilad Farm clashes

settlers maoz esther . (photo credit: )


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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu expressed resentment towards settlers seeking new construction tenders for building in West Bank settlements. Netanyahu said that "People do not understand where they live. If you do not live in this world, it is possible to disregard everything, and I suggest to be weary in order to protect the existing constructions. What is at stake is the new and existing construction."

Earlier Monday, clashes broke out between police and settlers during the demolition of three structures at the authorized outpost of Gilad Farm. According to police, eight settlers were arrested. Settlers claimed the police had fired rubber bullets and tear gas, while the police maintain that they used paintball guns.

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Settlers arrested, injured in violent clash in Gilad Farm

According to police, eight settlers were arrested during the clashes that broke out when they entered the outpost in a pre-dawn raid. Settlers claimed that 12 people were bruised by rubber bullets.

Located in the Samaria Regional Council area, Gilad Farm is one of 26 outposts built after March 2001 that Israel had promised the United States it would remove.

Commenting on the issue of settlements in the West Bank, Netanyahu assured that "Right now we are in efforts to protect existing construction. We are in a very difficult international reality, and the US veto in the UN Security Council was achieved with great effort. We could ignore everything and say 'no problem,' but as prime minister with responsibility for this country, I have the overall responsibility."

"We all want to strengthen the settlement and therefore we ought not ignore it. We are a few weeks after the the Quartet's decision, after the US's veto, before another Quartet decision, and therefore we must consider the reality in which we live. When there is a changing world order in the Middle East, there are those who seek an easy but irresponsible solution, and we won't help them with that."

Meanwhile, hundreds of right-wing activists took the Jerusalem streets and attempted to block a number of intersections Monday. Moving from intersection to intersection, activists were scattered by police who have arrested at least 24 demonstrators.

Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.

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