Police arrest youths in Yitzhar

Arrests follow attacks on police officers and IDF soldiers in the turbulent settlement.

Border Police in Yitzhar 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Border Police in Yitzhar 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israeli Police arrested two minors in the Yitzhar settlement on Wednesday for allegedly throwing rocks at a military ambulance, and a third minor on suspicion of attacking a police officer and throwing rocks.
According to the police, a military ambulance arrived at the settlement on June 17 to treat a resident who had fallen ill. 
As the ambulance left, a number of youths began to throw stones at the vehicle. The third youth is suspected of attacking a police officer and throwing stones on Sunday when the IDF was attempting to take down an illegal structure in the community. 
The IDF already arrested three people on Sunday following the clash. 
Police called the incident “very serious” and said they are seeking to crack down on violence by settler youth.
“Following a number of recent incidents in which soldiers and police officers were attacked in the area, the police are acting with determination in [both] covert and open manner to catch the lawbreakers and those involved.”
The minors were brought to Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, and two of them had remands extended until Thursday, while the police requested a five-day remand. 
The third suspect, who allegedly attacked the police and threw stones, was released with restrictive conditions for five days. 
“This is a false arrest,” the suspects’ lawyer Yehuda Shoshan of the right-wing Honenu organization said in court on Wednesday. 
“The court has said that there is limited suspicion of their involvement, and therefore their detention was extended only until tomorrow,” he said.
Yitzhar is the site of frequent clashes between settler youth, the IDF and local Palestinians. According to the NGO Rabbis for Human Rights, 45 olive trees were destroyed near the Palestinian village of Burin, which is close to Yitzhar, on Sunday and the word “revenge” was written in graffiti.