Residents of the Jewish Shaked Farm outpost, located near Yitzhar in northern Samaria, accused a Border Police officer of “accidentally” burning down a wooden structure under construction Tuesday morning by tossing a burning cigarette.
Outpost resident Itamar Pozin pointed out that the policeman was at the site and did nothing to try to put out the blaze. Other anonymous residents claimed it was an act of arson.
Border Police spokesman Moshe Finsi said, “We do not know who is responsible, and we are investigating.” He said he could not confirm whether or not a policeman was on the building site at the time of the fire.
Residents initially suspected that Arabs burned down the structure, similar to the arson that destroyed a caravan of a young family on the Gilad Farm outpost near Karnei Shomron on the Jewish New Year festival of Rosh HaShanah.
However, witnesses later said they saw policemen, who were protecting Arab olive pickers, enter the Shaked Farm
outpost and throw a cigarette at the wooden structure. Army spokesmen said that Arab olive farmers in limited areas in Judea and Samaria were required to coordinate their work with the Civil Lands Administration in order to avoid violent confrontations, many of which previously have been sparked by pro-Arab inciters.
The IDF added that certain areas were closed to Jews.