West Bank: IDF demolishes two outpost homes

One arrested for violating order to stay away from area in Yitzhar settlement as IDF, Border Police demolish stone structures.

A boy in Yitzhar 311 (photo credit: (Reuters))
A boy in Yitzhar 311
(photo credit: (Reuters))
The IDF and the Border Police demolished two small homemade stone structures in an outpost on the outskirts of the Yitzhar settlement early Thursday morning.
One person was arrested for violating an order to stay away from the area.
An IDF spokesman accused settlers of throwing stones at security forces and of rolling burning tires onto the road that led to the settlement.
“The IDF views this very seriously,” he said.
At one point, he added, a group of settlers attempted to make its way to a Palestinian village, but in the end it dispersed without doing anything.
Yitzhar spokesman Avraham Binyamin in turn charged that the IDF acted with excessive force and violence against settlement residents.
Binyamin said that security forces made a surprise raid on the settlement around 3:30 a.m. to tear down a home populated by young adults and another one under construction.
Upon entering the settlement, soldiers immediately took the telephone from the security guard and locked him in the watch room, said Binyamin.
Security forces also surrounded the Od Yosef Hai Yeshiva to prevent its pupils from racing to defend the structures, Binyamin said.
The road leading to the settlement was blocked and the few residents who arrived home at that hour were asked to park their vehicles and walk to their homes, Binyamin said.
The spokesman also said that security forces lied to them by saying that it was a military exercise.
Residents at the scene were not allowed to film and their phones or cameras were confiscated, he said.
He added that the soldiers used excessive force against the residents.
One Yitzhar resident said that he was pushed roughly into a bronze pole, and that his head hit the metal.
Some of the incident was filmed, but the darkness made it difficult to distinguish precisely what was happening in the video.
Binyamin said that Yitzhar residents planned to rebuild the homes, but that the bad feelings toward the IDF were harder to repair.
Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein, however, immediately sent a message to the media in which he accused Defense Minister Ehud Barak of demolishing the homes as a campaign strategy for attracting leftwing voters.
He called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to stop Barak from demolishing settler buildings until the election was over.
Edelstein made the accusation that, even under Barak’s tenure at the head of the Defense Ministry, the IDF has consistently demolished temporary structures in fledgling outposts.