Three National Union MKs injured

Three right-wing Knesset members were injured Wednesday during the clashes that broke out between police and settler teens during the demolition of the West Bank settlement outpost of Amona, in the worst such violence since the Gaza pullout. The three lawmakers, Effi Eitam, Benny Elon and Arieh Eldad, who were lightly to moderately injured in the heated clashes over the hilltop enclave, are all from the National Union Party. Eitam, a reserve IDF general who received a blow to the head, was given a CT at Hadassah-University Hospital and was told he had to be hospitalized overnight for observation to make sure he didn't have a concussion. He argued that bloodshed could have easily been avoided, and called the forceful police action nothing short of a "pogrom." "They didn't give people a chance for compromise; they came with the order to spill our blood," he said. "I can tell you on authority that we would have known how to restrain this event, like in Gush Katif, but the police received orders to spill the blood of both children and public officials. This is a pogrom that was perpetrated against young people," he added. The bandaged Eitam went on to blast Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for pressing ahead with the decision to dismantle the illegal settlement outpost, as required by what he termed the moribund internationally-backed peace plan known as the road map. "You are far from being the successor to Sharon," Eitam said of Olmert. "You proved today that you are fearful, confused and manipulative. You exhibited stupidity and opacity." Elon, who was lightly injured in the melee after being pushed off a bulldozer, blasted Olmert for what he called a "cynical political maneuver" aimed at getting more votes from Israeli centrists in next month's election. "My soul is pained that the people of Israel are led by people who think that it is popular before the election to beat Jews, even as they appear weak in the face of the Islamic enemy," Elon said. Elon called Wednesday's "brutal and unbelievable" violence "far worse" than anything that happened last year in the Gaza Strip. He went on to lambaste the Supreme Court justices who gave the state final approval for the evacuation on Wednesday morning. "These justices prefer a civil war and bloodshed to compromise," he said. His colleague Eldad said that the Jewish settlers were treated by police "as if they were Arabs, or even worse." The National Union is working against the clock to finalize a much-touted right-wing merger with the National Religious Party, in the hopes of forming a large right-wing bloc in the Knesset which will work against any further Israeli unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank, pullbacks which are widely expected under an Olmert-led government.