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Outpost Residents: Are We the Enemy?

Residents of Esh Kodesh are reeling after an pre-dawn raid by police, arrests. Police: we seized guns.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 4/2/2013, 1:30 PM

Police raid Migron (file)
Police raid Migron (file)
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Residents of the outpost community of Esh Kodesh in the Binyamin region are reeling after an early morning raid by police, who arrested five of them.

"We wish to express our severe protest in the face of the despicable way the police treated the residents," an announcement by residents said.

"There is no logic that justifies arriving this way before dawn, in large forces, as if we are enemies, in order to mess up our homes in contradiction of the rules for conducting searches as written in the warrants, and scare our little children in their beds."

"The community of Esh Kodesh is a law-abiding one, which pays taxes and serves in the army and national service," the residents wrote. "The police know that if they had asked the residents who were arrested to show up for questioning, they would have done so. And yet, they decided, for political reasons, to raid the community in the middle of the night in a way that reminds us of our military service and the arrests of terrorists."

"We did not see you arresting the marauders who attacked our community, our groves and vineyards, even though the community filed complaints against attackers, photographs and video footage of whom are in our possession and were even published.  

"We hope that the court understands the reality we are facing, and that it will release those of the community's men who were arrested, and deal severely with the Arab marauders attacking us."

The Judea and Samaria Police said Tuesday that "following the ongoing conflict between the villagers of Kusra and the residents of the Esh Kodesh outpost" and "mutual attacks," police launched an undercover investigation. This morning, the police added, five residents of the outpost in their 20s were arrested and several weapons were seized, including rifles and handguns.