Hilltop youth flee IDF quarantine facility with IDF equipment

Members of the group are suspected of attacking three Palestinians earlier this week

An Israeli border police officer and Israeli soldier at a temporary "checkpoint" in Jerusalem on April 16, 2020. (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
An Israeli border police officer and Israeli soldier at a temporary "checkpoint" in Jerusalem on April 16, 2020.
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
A group of far-right youth who were placed in a coronavirus quarantine facility by the IDF near the Dead Sea left the facility on their last day of quarantine, taking thousands of shekels worth of military equipment with them.
The group of 15-20 youth from the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar had been placed in the facility near Metzoke Dragot, in the West Bank near the Dead Sea last week. On their last day of required quarantine they dismantled the facility, which cost tens of thousands of shekels, and fled with military tents.
Police were able to apprehend two members of the group on Highway 90 near the Lido Junction, some 30 kilometers north of the quarantine facility, while they were trying to escape.
Police say that stolen military equipment was found in their vehicle, and the two, who are suspected of attacking a group of Palestinians earlier this week, were taken in for questioning before being released. They remain under house arrest as part of the investigation.
While it is not clear how many suspects remain at large, all the stolen military equipment was recovered.
IDF Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Hidai Zilberman called the event a police matter and said that he expects the police to do what it needs to do to catch the suspects.
Calling the event “savage,” Defense Minister Naftali Bennett called on security forces to quickly catch the suspects.
"Destroying the compound set up by the IDF and setting fire to Palestinian vehicles are savage acts that are crossing all the red lines,” Defense Minister Naftali Bennett said. “It's a disgrace that cannot be described and we have no intention of ignoring it. I do not accept any violence and certainly not right now when the full force of the  IDF and the security establishment are being harnessed to help the crisis. We have instructed the security forces to catch all suspects as soon as possible so that the message is clear: violence doesn’t pay.”
The group was required to enter quarantine after one of their peers who lived in the Kumi Uri neighborhood of the settlement was diagnosed with the deadly virus. The youth was arrested by Border Police officers three weeks ago after a group of hilltop youth tried to rebuild a synagogue in the flashpoint settlement.
They were being bused to a quarantine facility in the south because they refused to stay at a government quarantine hotel in Jerusalem, after being told they would have to stay in separate rooms.
The group began to riot in the bus after they became concerned that they were being taken to a Shin Bet detention center rather than a quarantine facility. While several youths managed to escape after breaking the windows of the bus, they were caught shortly afterwards by police.
After being bused back to Jerusalem by police they were taken to Metzukei Dragot where the IDF had set up the temporary quarantine facility and where the youths could stay together in tents.  
Photos from the site showed that the facility had a large tent where youth slept together, another tent for religious study, and a third tent with a generator where they could prepare food, shower and go to the washroom. Photos of the site after they left on Thursday showed empty cots surrounded by garbage strewn all over.
Another IDF source told The Jerusalem Post that the military stepped in when the police were unable to find a solution for the youths and in the end had their equipment stolen.
Earlier this week two Palestinians-two men and one Arab Israel woman from Haifa- were physically attacked by the group with rocks and pepper spray before they lit two cars on fire. According to reports, the attackers struck the woman in her face and stomach, causing her to lose consciousness and be evacuated to Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba for medical care.
A security official quoted by Channel 12 said that the attack was “further proof that this is a violent, extreme and racist group that is sowing terror wherever it goes.”
Calling the attack “a show of appreciation by the hilltop youth to the State of Israel for treating them amid the coronavirus crisis,” the official said that authorities “will bring those involved to justice.”