The vast majority of the residents of the settlements in Judea and Samaria – otherwise known as the West Bank – are law-abiding citizens of the State of Israel. They follow the law, pay their taxes, abide traffic rules, listen to the police and respect the IDF soldiers who keep them safe.There is, however, a small group that is lawless, that rejects the authority of state officials and has no problem attacking soldiers, policemen and Palestinian farmers. These “hilltop youth,” as they are frequently called, are the people who last week attacked Palestinian farmers who were trying to harvest their olive trees on land they own just beneath the settlement of Yitzhar. An 80-year-old rabbi who had come to help the Palestinians with their harvest was badly beaten by a group of masked youth carrying bats and throwing stones. This incident was followed by more violence against IDF soldiers, stationed in the area to protect the same Jews who are attacking them.On Sunday morning, some 30 settlers attacked soldiers near Yitzhar, throwing stones and slashing a jeep’s tires. One soldier was lightly injured, according to the military.A few days before that, the commander of the Golani Brigade’s Reconnaissance Battalion was attacked by the Jewish extremists near the entrance to the settlement.According to the IDF, settlers blocked the path of an army vehicle. One then opened the door of the vehicle and threatened those inside it, the IDF said. The unit commander confronted the men and was allegedly attacked.“I want to stand by the IDF soldiers and commanders who are working around the clock to defend the security of all Israeli citizens without exception,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. “I strongly condemn any assault on IDF soldiers. There will be no tolerance for lawbreakers who raise a hand to our soldiers.”Other politicians were critical of the government for ignoring the phenomenon of settler violence for too long, enabling the recent spate of attacks.“These events, which are often repeated, should be treated as acts of terror in the full sense of the word – and as such, they should be dealt with accordingly and uncompromisingly,” Labor leader Amir Peretz said.The violence came ahead of the eventual demolition on Thursday of two structures that were illegally built in a nearby outpost called Shevah Haaretz. The structures were next to the Kumi Ori outpost – also near Yitzhar – whose residents are reported to have allegedly participated in the attacks against the Israeli soldiers. According to the Yitzhar spokesman, some eight people lived in the two wooden structures.This lawlessness in the West Bank is not new. For years, the hilltop youth in the area of Yitzhar have attacked Palestinian farmers and IDF soldiers. They rarely pay a price and even when a suspect is apprehended, he is usually released with just a slap on the wrist.This needs to stop. Law and order need to be enforced in all parts of Israel, no matter who the perpetrators are. We can only imagine what would have happened had Israeli Arabs attacked the soldiers. It’s doubtful that the response would be the way it has been. The attackers would be called terrorists and the full force of the police, the military and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) would come to bear. The government needs to be clear that this type of violence and behavior is unacceptable. This includes setting a zero-tolerance policy when there is violence, bolstering the police deployment in the area and ensuring that when some of these youth are arrested they feel the full force of Israel’s justice system.These extremists are a stain on the entire community of Jews who live in Judea and Samaria. While the settlement leadership condemned them, that is also not enough. The residents of the Jewish communities in the West Bank need to take steps to rid themselves of these extremists and stop allowing them to establish homes on hilltops near places like Yitzhar. Law needs to be enforced. The violence needs to stop now.