Barak: We can't let citizens take law into their own hands

Following clashes with settlers at Gilad Farm outpost, defense minister says disturbances damage rule of law.

Barak with soldier in background 311 (photo credit: Linui Alihi, Defense Ministry)
Barak with soldier in background 311
(photo credit: Linui Alihi, Defense Ministry)
In reaction to clashes that took place a day earlier in the Gilad Farm outpost in Samaria, Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Tuesday said that "We can not let citizens take the law into their hands." "These disturbances damage the rule of law in the country," Barak said during a tour of the Givati Brigade's training in the Negev.
"They are not representative of the people, they are actions carried out by small groups whose behavior is inappropriate and we will continue to deal the problem," the defense minister said. Barak went on to say that "there was provocation, use of force and resistance to orders of people sent by the state."
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On Monday setters claimed that Border Police forces shot rubber bullets and tear gas at them during the demolition of three structures at the unauthorized outpost of Gilad Farm in Samaria.
According to police, eight settlers were arrested during the clashes that broke out when they entered the outpost in a pre-dawn raid. Settlers claimed that 12 people were bruised by rubber bullets.
Earlier on Tuesday, Israel Police Insp.-Gen. Dudi Cohen held discussions with senior police officials to evaluate the situation in the West Bank after settlers claimed that police allegedly used rubber bullets during Monday mornings demolition.
"At this time we must show responsibility, restraint and avoid an escalation in violence at any cost. The Israeli police will be prepared for any scenario," Cohen said.
The police chief  issued a series of instructions and passed them down to commanders and heads of regional departments. Cohen also ordered that police act so that "minimal disruption is caused to routine life and according to the procedures in place."
He made the comments after Palestinians in the Hebron area woke up Tuesday morning to find the windshields of dozens of their cars smashed, as a result of an alleged attack by right-wing activists. This comes a day after settlers blocked roads overnight Monday in Jerusalem, allegedly setting fire to tires and throwing a petrol bomb at the Palestinian village of Hawara.
Right-wing activists said that the act of smashing windows was a "price tag" revenge attack for violence used by police at the evacuation of Gilad Farm.