Police: No evidence of clash in Hebron

Earlier reports claim settlers torched Palestinian car in response to West Bank illegal outpost removal.

nutty settlers Maoz Esther 248.88 (photo credit: AP)
nutty settlers Maoz Esther 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
Hours after security forces evacuated the Maoz Esther outpost in the West Bank, a group of settlers reportedly responded violently to the removal by rampaging through an Arab neighborhood in Hebron, smashing car windows and setting one Palestinian vehicle alight. However, a police spokesman told The Jerusalem Post that the Judea and Samaria police had found no evidence to support claims of settler violence in Hebron on Monday evening. Police officers and officials from the IDF's Civil Administration conducted a search of neighborhoods in Hebron where the violence is said to have taken place, and have found "nothing," Judea and Samaria Police spokesman Danny Poleg said. "The teams were there and spoke to Palestinians on site. Palestinians told them nothing had occurred," Poleg added. The reported incident was the second of its kind since the evacuation. A short while earlier, some 30 settlers hurled rocks at Palestinian cars near the Yitzhar junction and a Palestinian field was torched near Beit El. Police and army forces demolished nine structures in Monday morning's evacuation of Maoz Esther. During the evacuation, one man was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer. Maoz Esther has already been demolished once, at the end of May, but it was rebuilt immediately afterward, and the defiant settlers pledged Monday to rebuild the outpost again. "[Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu and [Defense Minister Ehud] Barak will not deter us," settler leaders in Maoz Esther were quoted by Army Radio as saying. Elsewhere, in the illegal outpost Bnei Adam, a satellite of the legal community of Adam, settlers were dancing and cheering after security forces pulled out of the area before taking down three caravans as they were sent to do. There are nine caravans in Bnei Adam. Security forces had arrived at the site had begun evacuating the caravan, but stopped in the midst of the operation after an agreement was reached between OC Central Command and the Binyamin Regional Council. According to the agreement, the council will remove the caravans in the near future. The families in Bnei Adam met on Tuesday night to discuss their next move. Intelligence Affairs Minister Dan Meridor, of Likud, sided clearly with the state, telling Israel Radio that an outpost should be dealt with in the same way as anything illegal. Yaakov Lappin and Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report