IDF soldier lightly wounded by settlers

Settlers burn trees, block roads to protest demolitions, citing 'price tag' policy of revenge.

maoz esther outpost 248 88 ap (photo credit: )
maoz esther outpost 248 88 ap
(photo credit: )
Settlers continued to riot over outpost demolitions Monday night, hurling stones at IDF soldiers and Palestinian cars in the West Bank. An IDF soldier was lightly wounded when masked settlers stoned troops near Kedumim, while four settlers were arrested on suspicion of throwing stones at Palestinian vehicles near the Yitzhar junction. Settlers burned olive trees, stoned Palestinian vehicles, blocked West Bank roads and allegedly assaulted Palestinians on Monday in direct response to the Civil Administration's destruction of scattered structures in three outposts earlier in the day. Although all three outposts, Adei Ad, Nofei Yarden and Mitzpe Danny, were in the area of the Binyamin Regional Council, settlers and right-wing activists reacted throughout the West Bank. One settler unabashedly told The Jerusalem Post that this was simply implementation of the "price tag" policy, under which settlers exact revenge for the destruction of Jewish property in Judea and Samaria. Four settler youths were arrested at Yitzhar Junction in Samaria for throwing rocks at a road on Monday evening. The youths were taken to the Kedumim police station, where they have refused to identify themselves or cooperate with officers, Judea and Samaria Police said. A Yesh Din volunteer, Rutie Kedar, who was near the Yitzhar settlement, said she saw fields and olive trees burning near the Palestinian village of Burrin and that photographs taken at the time showed settlers between the trees. Near the Hawara village, she said settlers attacked Palestinians, injuring two, who were taken away in an ambulance. Aside from the rock-throwing incident, police spokesman Danny Poleg said he received no reports or complaints of attacks or acts of destruction by settlers following the clearance of illegal structures. "We haven't heard anything," he said. Poleg said Judea and Samaria Police had earlier assisted in removing illegal structures, such as shelters and caravans, at the three outposts. "These are routine acts," he said. The Binyamin Citizens' Committee accused Defense Minister Ehud Barak of inciting Monday's violence. "His provocative actions are intended to legitimize the evacuation of Jews," the committee said, in a statement. It further charged that the destruction of the Nofei Yarden outpost, which was erected only last month, was a direct response to a complaint it had filled against the police for its actions in that area. Similarly, it alleged that the civil administration demolished a structure at the Adei Ad outpost Monday in retaliation for a complaint settlers had filed about an incident of attempted theft by a civil administration employee who had come to the outpost last week. The civil administration also destroyed two storage containers at the Mitzpe Danny outpost. The Adei Ad outpost was constructed in 1998 near the Shvut Rachel settlement; Mitzpe Danny, near Ma'aleh Michmas, was built in 1999. Each has around 20 families. Neither outpost is on the list of 26 outposts that Israel has promised the United States that it would remove. Former Kedumim mayor Daniella Weiss said as of Monday evening settlers had rebuilt the Nofei Yarden outpost and placed two shacks there. Next Monday and Tuesday, she said, the Land of Israel Faithful plan to construct 11 new West Bank outposts.