Investigation finds Police acted properly at Gilad Farm

Findings of internal Police investigation given to inspector-general; plastic bullets used after stones, glass bottles thrown at forces.

gilad farm demolition protest_311 (photo credit: Va'ad Mityashvei HaShomron)
gilad farm demolition protest_311
(photo credit: Va'ad Mityashvei HaShomron)
Police investigators on Sunday said that security forces acted properly and according to regulation in dealing with settlers during the demolition of three structures at the Gilad Farm outpost last week. The report on the incident was presented to Police Inspector-General David Cohen.
Settlers had claimed that Police used excessive force during the incident at Gilad Farm and particularly took offense at the use of plastic bullets.
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The report explains that a weapon called the FN303, which is defined as a “less-lethal automatic launcher,” was used by security forces. "The FN303 was used at two points at which stones and glass bottles were thrown at forces while they attempted to make arrests. From the investigation of the officers who used the weapon, it was determined that they were properly trained and skilled and flawlessly carried out their work."
Last week, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch defended the security forces use of plastic bullets.
The FN303 is a standard weapon used to disperse demonstrations, Aharonovitch said. Police have used it against demonstrators in Umm el-Fahm, Wadi Ara and other places, he said.
It is designed to protect security forces while at the same time insuring minimum harm to the rioters, he added.
At Gilad Farm, protesters swore at the Border Police, issued threats and threw stones at them, he said. At the same time a group of protesters cut down 15 Palestinian olive trees and damaged 30.
Eight protesters were arrested, two for cutting down trees, one for throwing stones and five for carrying knives, Aharonovitch said.
Police had earlier reported that all eight had been released.
“I view very seriously any attack on security personnel, which constitutes a flagrant disregard for the rule of law,” said Aharonovitch. “I completely back up the activities of the officers who had gone to [Gilad Farm] to enforce the law.”

Tovah Lazaroff and Rebecca Anna Stoil contributed to this report