Police arrest Yitzhar woman for inciting violence against IDF

Private e-mail forum in West Bank settlement discusses justification of lethal force against IDF security forces in the event that they demolish or evacuate buildings.

May 7, 2014 09:42
3 minute read.
Border Police at Yitzhar, April 11, 2014.

Border Police at Yitzhar, April 11, 2014.. (photo credit: IDF SPOKESMAN'S OFFICE)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


A 22-year-old woman from the Yitzhar settlement who wrote that she supported rock-throwing against the IDF, even if it meant that a soldier was killed, was detained on Wednesday and released under house arrest to her parents’ home in the Otniel settlement in the West Bank.

The woman’s statement was written in an internal Internet forum for Yitzhar residents called “Yitzharnikim,” according to Yediot Aharonot, which broke the story on Wednesday.

The statement read “I am in favor of throwing rocks (at Jews, in terms of Arabs there of course isn’t any question), even in a situation where the rock kills a soldier!!!” The forum discussion took place on April 8, hours after IDF reservists and Yitzhar residents clashed over the demolition of some buildings in the area.

On Wednesday, almost exactly a month later, Eliraz Fein was arrested at 4:30 a.m., as the issue of Yediot was hitting the stands across the country.

During the arrest police seized a laptop, a disk-on key and a smart phone.

In court in Jerusalem on Wednesday, the debate circled around whether or not the statement constituted incitement and the significance of the fact that it was made in a private forum, never meant to be released publicly.

Attorney Adi Keidar said Fein, who is eight months pregnant, made her statement while she was in “great emotional distress during a very difficult time,” and said the case deals with the issues of “what is the interest in this forum, what’s the interest in a person asking his neighbor something in a post that’s not meant to be published.”

Keidar said that anyone can go online with a simple click on Google find death threats against just about anyone in the country.

Police officer Yossi Ovadia said that the case is still in its beginning stages and it deals with “a severe crime of incitement” and that the decision to make the arrest had nothing to do with public pressure.

In the end, Judge Ohad Gordon rejected the police call for a five-day remand extension, ordering Fein released to seven days house arrest at her parents’ home in Otniel.

Fein, who has no criminal record, was required to pay a NIS 2,500 bond and stay away from other suspects in the case. She is also banned from using a smartphone or a computer for the next seven days.

The news follows an attempt by the Yitzhar settlement to halt attacks against security forces in their community.

Late last month the settlement held a vote to oppose such violence, in which more than 50 percent of the 1,172-member community who are eligible voters participated.

But those who opposed the measure, did not vote.

Samaria Regional Council head Gershon Mesika made his first harsh public comments on violence in Yitzhar on Wednesday.

He asked those who believe in attacking Israel’s security forces to leave Yitzhar and the Samaria region.

“They do not have a place among us,” he said.

Still, he and the Yitzhar spokesman Ezri Tovi warned against using this incident to incite against the residents of that community – and settlers in general.

“The words were written at a very emotional time,” Tovi said in the aftermath of home demolitions.

It does not justify calling settlers a “cancer” at a time when real terror acts are occurring against Israel, Tovi said.

Mesika said he thought it was odd that the police had evidence against her for several weeks but only arrested her after the article broke in Yediot.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

August 31, 2014
Rioting resumes throughout east Jerusalem Saturday night