Dozens of settlers attack Border Police near Yitzhar

Settlers also slashed Border Police vehicles tires, the spokesperson added.

Masked settlers throw rocks and bottles of paint at Border Police near Yitzhar, August 12, 2020 (Credit: Israel Police)
Dozens of masked settlers assaulted Border Police officers near the Samaria settlement of Yitzhar Wednesday morning by throwing rocks and bottles of paint at them, lightly injuring one, during the demolition of three structures, a Border Police spokesperson said.
Settlers slashed Border Police vehicles’ tires, the spokesperson said.
The officers used riot-dispersal methods, and more police were called to the scene. The incident was brought under control, and the rioters were dispersed, the spokesperson said.
The officers, along with the Civil Administration, demolished three illegally built wooden structures at the Shevach Haaretz outpost near Yitzhar.
The attack was a “serious incident of violence,” the police said.
Settlers in the Yitzhar area have attacked Border Police officers several times in the past year amid clashes over outposts and demolitions.
Among the most serious was a May incident in which Jewish extremists firebombed a police vehicle near the exit to Yitzhar.
“Condemnations will no longer suffice,” NGO Peace Now said in response to the incident. “A terrorist cell is operating in Yitzhar that needs to be dismantled with all methods, and its members and spiritual leaders need to be prosecuted. We will continue to wait for the first brave leader of the right-wing settlers who will make a moral statement against the systematic violence that comes out of Yitzhar.”
MK Bezalel Smotrich (Yamina) lamented that the incident removed the focus from the “hypocrisy” that “every hut or trailer in the settlements are pursued,” while “terrorists’ houses are not demolished under the auspices of the Supreme Court.”
“Sadly and frustratingly, a bunch of irresponsible young people who are lost – even if their intentions are [pure] – who do deeds that shall not be done, tarnish the settlement and harm it, bringing attention and discourse to this severe violence and not to violence and systemic failures,” he said. “And this is frustrating.”
Smotrich said he was condemning both the violence against security forces as well as discrimination and persecution against settlers and settlements, adding that while police focus on and act strongly against settlers, they don’t do the same in other cases.
“This discrimination and hypocrisy is frustrating, and this frustration causes the severe violence, which must not be accepted,” Smotrich said. “I seek to strengthen the hands of the leadership of the Yitzhar settlement, who cling to the Land of Israel with determination and face an impossible complexity. We are with you!”
Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.