Police raid Yitzhar yeshiva, arrest 7

Security forces round up 3 Yasuf arson suspects, 4 minors suspected of disruptions in night operation.

yasuf mosque book 190.114 (photo credit: B'Tselem)
yasuf mosque book 190.114
(photo credit: B'Tselem)
Police and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) raided the living quarters of two yeshivot in Yitzhar, arresting three youths and detaining two minors overnight Sunday for their alleged involvement in vandalism and arson in the Kafr Yasuf mosque last month. Four other minors were arrested for various recent acts of disruption in the Samaria region. An additional person wanted for questioning was also detained.
In a search of the arrestees' personal items security forces found stylets and color flares. According to Yitzhar residents, the police and Shin Bet donned masks and used excessive force and confiscated residents' cameras used to document the events.
In mid December, assailants had vandalized the Yasuf mosque, and the civil administration launched an investigation. The vandals fled the scene.
The attack took place in the village of Yasuf, south of Nablus. The assailants entered the village before dawn Friday, according to police and Munir Abushi, the Palestinian governor of the district of Salfit, where the village is located.
The perpetrators set fire to a carpet and to a library in the mosque's second floor, destroying holy books.
They also sprayed abusive statements in Hebrew on the walls and floor. Graffiti messages included "Price tag - greetings from Effi" and "We will burn the lot of you."
Some linked the attack to the so-called "price tag policy," often used to denote retaliation for government decisions which curb settlement activity.
The IDF said it views the incident "gravely" and is investigating along with the police.
After villagers discovered the damage, they briefly threw stones at IDF troops that entered Yasuf, Abushi said. He said two villagers were hurt in the skirmish.