Minister: Outraged Yitzhar Rioters 'Unrestrained Criminals'
Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich (Yisrael Beytenu) vowed 'zero tolerance' for 'price tag' attacks on Tuesday, after news surfaced of violent clashes between Border Police and Yitzhar residents overnight.
"In the past several days, we have witnessed severe events culminating in the settlement of Yitzhar rioting overnight, disorderly conduct and the injury of six Border Police during the demolition of illegal constructions," the Minister stated.
"Those rioters who came and attacked the Border Police and soldiers are unrestrained criminals," he fired. "I take such incidents very seriously, the more so when this behavior causes physical harm to people in uniform."
"The Israeli Police, and Border Policemen, will continue their important law enforcement and will prosecute those criminals according to law," Aharonovich continued. "We will have zero tolerance for lawbreakers in general, and for those who act against people in uniform in particular."
"I hope that the leadership of the community condemns these incidents, and act to cease and desist from the damage which this has caused the entire settlement," he added.
IDF and police forces demolished four homes in the Samaria community on Tuesday, as apparent retaliation for 'price tag' vandalism on IDF jeeps on Sunday and Monday.
Yitzhar community spokesmen have responded to the demolition with harsh condemnations of the dramatic demolition, slamming "collective punishment."
"This policy of destruction and collective punishment by authorities against residents of Yitzhar is outrageous," a statement reads.
"It is unthinkable that the Israeli government and security forces demolished the homes of innocent people and took revenge due to the illegitimate 'price tag' actions of individuals, as serious as [these acts] are. We urge the security forces and their head to stop this policy and immediately stop the growing cycle of hostility."
Meanwhile, condemnations over the dramatic turn of events continues to pour in from all sides of the political spectrum. On Tuesday, Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz (HaTnua) added his voice to the chorus of criticism by condemning the 'settlements' in the harshest of terms.
"We cannot talk about this as if there are weeds we have to pull before the garden is clear," Peretz said, referring to the 'price tag' phenomenon and outrage at IDF forces. "We have to stop this problem at the root. I am appalled at the silence of Jewish Home (Bayit Yehudi) leaders, who are not rushing to uphold the law."