Samaria Leader Tells Extremists: We Don't Want You Here
A message advocating terror against IDF soldiers led to the controversial arrest of a 22 year-old pregnant Yitzhar woman Wednesday, making headlines in Israeli media.
But, Arutz Sheva discovered Wednesday, police discovered the message over two weeks ago - and only acted because of a threat to leak the story by daily news site Yediot Aharonot.
Police heard that the site was planning to publish the comments in a breaking story Tuesday, it was revealed, and only then made the immediate arrest.
Gershon Mesika, head of the Samaria (Shomron) Regional Council, confirmed to Arutz Sheva that a complaint over the comment was filed to the Judea-Samaria Police two weeks ago and is dumbfounded to explain the time lapse.
"People who call to harm IDF soldiers do so in opposition to the vast majority [of Yitzhar residents]," Mesika noted, echoing several statements from MKs and public officials familiar with the Samaria town. "This is also contrary to [the opinions of] most residents of Judea and Samaria."
"I ask these people to please leave Yitzhar, as well as Judea and Samaria," he continued. "And please - leave us alone."
Mesika confirmed that the police purposely waited to arrest the Yitzhar woman - whom he holds is guilty of real incitement - for some time before making the arrest.
"The police sat on the information about the post for two weeks and did not do anything with it until Yediot threatened to publish," he said. "The administrative process here is either unclear or negligent, or indicates that someone aims to continue doing damage to [the image of] Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria by leaving fools to run amok and bullying innocent people."
Mesika added that while he holds that police should focus their efforts on actual incidents of incitement in the region, they have also sorely neglected coverage of incitement against Judea and Samaria residents themselves.
"I was sorry to see the police ignore wild incitement against settlers," Mesika stated. "Among others: Prof. Zeev Sternhell called to invade Ofra with tanks. Ra'anan Shaked told IDF Radio that it 'had to shoot' the residents of Yitzhar." He added that Yaron London also asked about 'permission to shoot settlers.'
"I call on the police to begin investigating even incitement from the Left and stop people from chasing after our blood," Mesika said.
Earlier Wednesday, rights group Honenu also slammed the police in a biting statement defending the 22 year-old woman.
"We are surprised by how quickly the police worked to arrest the suspect, when it tolerates endless statements and incitement against Jews, and settlers in particular," Honenu Attorney Adi Keidar stated.
The police refused to comment.
'There is something wrong with arresting over private comments'
The suspect, who is eight months pregnant, was arrested Wednesday over comments made in an online debate in a private forum.
According to Yediot - which did publish the story Wednesday morning - she wrote, "I am in favor of throwing rocks at Jews (of course, as for Arabs, it goes without saying) in certain situations – even if the rock causes the death of a soldier!”
The woman, who is eight months pregnant, defended her post later Wednesday.
"I did not mean to incite against the IDF in my post," she stated to Arutz Sheva. "There is something wrong with the police being allowed to interfere with a private forum."
The woman's family is outraged at the arrest.
"It's delusional that the Israeli police will pull a pregnant wife from her home [and arrest her] for a violation which she allegedly committed," the family said in a statement, noting that the post is at least "a month old."
"The persecution of women of Yitzhar in recent days indicates that someone in the police has lost their sanity," they added.
The woman has been sentenced with house arrest and will be banned from using her telephone, officials announced Wednesday evening.
Focus on Women
This is not the first time police have hyperfocused on women from the small Samaria community.
In April, a Yitzhar woman claimed that police treated her severely, confining her and depriving her of her rights for hours under cruel conditions, after she was arrested on trumped-up charges.
Last week, another woman was arrested - allegedly at random - outside the small community, and an officer mocked her, saying "you will never see your kids again."