Police chief: Settler violence has crossed the line

Police chief Settler vi

The recent violent clashes between settlers and security forces trying to enforce a construction ban in the settlements "went beyond legitimate protest and freedom of expression," police Insp.-Gen. David Cohen said on Thursday. Cohen used a weekly evaluation at the National Police Headquarters in Jerusalem to discuss the events of the past few weeks. He said a "severe rise" in violent incidents involving settlers had been noted, adding that "the significant threats toward law enforcement... have crossed the line." Addressing last week's arson attack on a Palestinian mosque in the West Bank village of Yasuf, Cohen said that intercommunal "violence and property damage will be dealt with firmly by security forces to prevent an escalation." Judea and Samaria Police and other security agencies are leading the investigation of the mosque attack, Cohen said, adding that they were "receiving all of the intelligence and investigative means needed to track down the culprits." All legal means to bring law-breakers to justice would be employed, Cohen vowed. Both Jews and Palestinians in the West Bank are responsible for respecting the law, the commissioner added.