Four Yitzhar Arrestees Already Free; Why the Early-Morning Raid?
The four residents of Yitzhar who were arrested in today's early-morning police raid in their homes are already free, having been released during the course of the day.
The Shomron Residents Committee released this statement:
"At 4:30 this morning, a staggering 200 elite police officers were mobilized, in cooperation with the Shabak (Israel Security Agency), in an operation to detain four law-abiding citizens in their homes and to confiscate a small number of computers in the Shomron community of Yitzhar, after a prolonged search.
"No reason for this enormous waste of police time and manpower has yet been given, and all four men have now been released without charge. They were simply practicing their legitimate right to free speech by broadcasting legally over the Internet. This police action raises great concern about the right of free expression in this country, while Israeli citizens are being detained and harassed for publishing their views on the Internet.
"But more importantly, the people of Israel will quite rightly be asking where this apparent show of police strength came from. In Jerusalem and across Judea and Samaria, an extreme-left coalition of foreigners, anarchists and local Arabs have been wreaking havoc and perpetrating repeated violent assaults on Jewish residents of those areas. We call on the Israeli police to cease its role as a political tool for the left, and to return to its function as protector of the Israeli citizen from rising crime and extreme left-wing violence."
Earlier, Shomron Region Chairman Gershon Mesika said, "Someone up there has lost his direction. I don't recall any case of wholesale confiscation of computers and early-morning arrests of radical left-wing activists who undermine the existence of the State - nor even against activists of the Islamic Movement... It is as clear as say that the arrestees will once again be released without any charges."