More clashes and violence were the order of the day between construction freeze inspectors and residents in Jewish towns on Wednesday. The mayor of Beit Aryeh, Avi Naim, was both hurt and arrested, and police detained him even after an ambulance was called for him. Police finally allowed the ambulance to rush him to a hospital after the mayor asked his legal counsel to intervene.
The clashes took place when the inspectors, accompanied by army forces and special Yassam police units for protection, attempted to enter the towns to distribute stop-work orders. Mayor Naim was arrested when he tried, together with dozens of his townsmen, to prevent the inspectors from entering. The town's security officer was also hurt, and said he never had seen such police violence.
Residents said they were told that the inspectors had received instructions to use force and not to compromise.
Beit Aryeh is in the western Shomron just 25 kilometers (15 miles) east of Tel Aviv and is not defined as a religious community. It began in 1981 with 60 families, and together with nearby Ofarim, with which it shares a local municipality, now numbers 900 families and 4,000 people.
Clashes at Elon Moreh and Brachah
Similar clashes also broke out on Wednesday in Elon Moreh, deep in the heart of Samaria. Some 150 people came out in three groups to greet the inspectors, and reported “partial success.” Some of the inspectors managed to give out stop-work orders, one resident told Arutz-7, but the others did not. Asked if there was violence, he said, “In one group, the forces used moderate violence…”
At nearby Har Brachah, residents blocked the access road – though freeze officials were not reported to be on their way in. Border Guardsmen chased the blockers and made some arrests, using violence. Nearby roads at the Brachah junction and Hawara were also blocked intermittently, and arrests were made.
War Hero's Home Frozen
Aryeh Rotmensh, father of First Sgt. Alon Rotmensh who received the Medal of Valor for rescuing fellow fighters under fire during a Second Lebanon War battle, told Arutz-7 that building on his son’s house is being stopped by the new freeze orders. “How can it be that they stop such a hero who risked his life for the People of Israel from building his home?” his father asked.
Ministers Gilad Erdan (Environmental Affairs) and Eli Yishai (Interior) refused a request by the Defense Ministry to allocate inspectors to help the Civil Administration enforce the construction freeze in the Jewish settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria.
The freeze inspectors were unsuccessful on Tuesday in their bid to enter the hard-core eastern Shomron communities: Elon Moreh, Itamar and Yitzhar. Clashes between residents and inspectors broke out in several places, including Kiryat Arba, Karnei Shomron and Revavah.