Watch: Violence, stun grenades against Yitzhar residents

Yitzhar: Army's claim of stone-throwing youths a lie; they attacked residents, threw stun grenades at peaceful protesters.

Contact Editor
Ido Ben Porat,

Confrontation near Yitzhar (file)
Confrontation near Yitzhar (file)
Flash 90

Representatives of the town of Yitzhar in Samaria pushed back Sunday evening against claims by the IDF that local youths attacked security forces during the evacuation and demolition of a structure in Yitzhar.

Earlier Sunday afternoon, the IDF claimed that three Jewish youths hurled stones at soldiers during the evacuation.

The three suspects were apprehended by soldiers and handed over police custody.

“The IDF takes very seriously any sort of attack on security forces carrying out their orders and who defend the residents of the area,” an army spokesperson said in response to the incident.

“The security forces will continue to act to enforce the law and keep the peace in Judea and Samaria.”

According to the town secretariat, however, Sunday’s evacuation was marred by police brutality and excessive violence on the part of soldiers and Border Police officers – not local youths, as alleged by the army.

A video of the evacuation shows an IDF officer hurling large numbers of stun grenades directly at a handful of peaceful demonstrators, some of whom appear to have been blocking the road to Yitzhar, while others seemed merely to be standing on the side of the road.

“We know of no incidents of stone throwing against security forces,” the Yitzhar secretariat said in a statement. “The picture of the situation after the incident [the evacuation] shows that the security forces behaved very violently towards the residents who merely engaged in passive demonstration.”

“During the incident, an IDF officer throw stun grenades towards the residents who were sitting on the side of the road. One of the people who was arrested passed out and required medical attention, but police prevented medics from treating him.”

Earlier, the secretariat released a statement condemning the army’s handling of the evacuation, claiming that relations between the community and authorities had begun deteriorating before Sunday’s incident, and that the Defense Ministry’s political leadership was to blame.

“It is very unfortunate that after two years of calm, when good relations were built between the town and the Samaria Division, someone has to come along and inflame the situation and create at any cost images of conflict between the residents of Yitzhar and soldiers,” the Yitzhar secretariat said in a statement.

“It began during the cruel eviction of Elkana Picar from [Yitzhar] with an army order despite [having] no trial, and continued with the wholesale use of administrative orders without trial against 14-year old children and the jailing of a youth from the town based on an administrative arrest order even after two courts instructed that he be freed. It looks like [Defense] Minister Liberman is done trying to defeat Arab terrorism.”

Last week, stones were thrown at an IDF ambulance that arrived in Yitzhar to evacuate resident suffering from dehydration.








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