The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel on Sunday asked Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to intervene and “redeem” the Yitzhar Yeshiva from the IDF. Legal Forum CEO Nachi Eyal said that the seizure of the yeshiva – clearly a punishment imposed by the army – was unfair and undemocratic.
Early Friday, the IDF stationed a border police unit in Yitzhar's Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva (Torah academy) building – essentially turning it into an army outpost. In a statement, the IDF said that “due to the violent events towards security forces that occurred in recent days, and in order to give a response to security needs, it was decided by the IDF to place a border police unit in Yitzhar immediately for security needs, to maintain a presence in coordination with local residents.”
Six residents of the town were arrested during the course of last week, accused of taking part in riots and causing damage to an IDF outpost, after police descended on Givat Lehava, in eastern Yitzhar, and demolished two caravans and another two partially-completed homes.
“It is of course necessary to deal with violations of the law, but taking over a yeshiva building as a punishment reminds us of dictatorial regimes that damage the rights of citizens,: said Eyal. “The Attorney General cannot ignore this serious situation.”
A spokesperson for the Forum said that “the true test of freedom of speech is not for those whose positions are 'acceptable' and pleasant to listen to, but for those whose stances are radical and obstinate.”