Yaalon Brands Vandalism of IDF Officer's Car 'Terrorism'

Defense Minister lashes out after suspected extremists slash tires of Brigade Commander's car following house demolition.

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Ari Soffer,

Tires repaired after January vandalism
Tires repaired after January vandalism
IDF Spokesman

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon has strongly condemned an incident in which unknown assailants slashed the tires of the car belonging to the military commander responsible for the Samaria (Shomron) region, Colonel Yoav Yarom , during a visit to the Jewish town of Yitzhar.

Yarom was visiting with Colonel Shai Kleper, who will likely be replacing him this summer.

Yaalon branded the incident "extremely serious" and said it warranted an "uncompromising response."

"In my eyes we are talking about terrorism, for all intents and purposes," he added. "We must uproot these phenomena and wage an all-out war against them."

"We cannot allow a marginal and violent group of extremists to challenge the rule of law," he added, and noted that Col. Yarom worked "day and night" to ensure the security of local Jewish communities against Arab terrorism.

The tires of Yarom's vehicle were slashed in a similar attack in January. 

"Opposite the flat tires of the Brigade Commander stands the destroyed and desolated house"

The latest attack, which was apparently carried out by Jewish extremists, followed an incident last week in which security forces tore down a house that was built by Avi and Shoshana Lazar – just days before they were due to move in with their five children.

The residents said that the land the home was built on so-called "survey land," which would have become state land in a matter of a few years, and was carried out "for no reason." The house stood on an area of 125 square meters and was worth about 500,000 shekels, or $140,000.

One of the residents of Kipa Sruga Hill was said to have been beaten and handcuffed during the demolition.

The destruction bore echoes of the demolition of the Kaisler family home in the Jewish village of Kida last February. Local residents told Arutz Sheva that demolition appeared to have been politically-motivated.

A spokesman for the town of Yitzhar condemned the vandalism of Yarom's vehicle, but said incidents such as last week's were to blame for inflaming tensions.

"We are completely opposed to acts such as these and are trying to prevent such occurrences. Obviously this is not the kind of welcome that we want to the incoming Brigade Commander to receive."

"On the other hand, it is impossible to ignore" the relationship between such acts and "the criminal destruction of the Lazar household, and the outcry it left in its aftermath.

"Opposite the flat tires of the Brigade Commander stands the destroyed and desolated house. We urge the security forces to do what is required of them to lower the flames."

Footless but fast

Col. Yarom began his career as an officer in the elite Sayeret Golani. During an operation in Lebanon, he stepped on a landmine that caused him to lose his foot. Amazingly, he managed to go back to serving in the Sayeret. Legend has it that the Sayeret's commander initially refused to allow him back into the unit, but Yarom challenged him to a foot race. When he defeated the commander, the latter had no choice but to let him back in.

In the great terror onslaught known as the Oslo War or the Second Intifada, he was wounded in the stomach from gunfire. He recovered and again returned to active combat service in Golani, serving as deputycommander of the elite Egoz unit and as commander of the Reconnaissance Battalion (Gadsar).