Cops, Jewish residents injured during clashes in Samaria

Police surround house in Israeli town of Yitzhar in Samaria, after resident violates administrative order requiring him to leave area.

Tags: Yitzhar
Arutz Sheva Staff , | updated: 9:53 PM

Residents block roads in Yitzhar during police operation
Residents block roads in Yitzhar during police operation

At least three Israeli police officers were injured Sunday, during clashes in the Israeli town of Yitzhar in Samaria, with more than a dozen locals also reportedly injured

The clashes erupted after a large contingent of police and Border Police forces surrounded the home of Neriah Zarog, a resident of Yitzhar who had remained in his home, in defiance of an administrative order distancing him from the town.

Two months ago, the IDF issued the order barring Zarog from Yitzhar for three months, but Zarog has refused to leave his home.

Locals accused police of smashing several walls in Zarog’s home, after they encountered obstacles and barricades put up to block them from reaching the building.

Several hundred locals gathered near Zarog’s house to protest the police siege. Clashes soon broke out between the demonstrators and police.

Protesters claim that police beat Zarog while attempting to arrest him, smashing his glasses and causing him light injuries. Police, on the other hand, say some of the protesters hurled rocks and paint cans at officers.

Three officers were lightly injured in the clashes, while residents claim 15 civilians were injured.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu condemned the clashes, and called "for the law to be respected."

"Netanyahu calls for the law to be respected and for an immediate halt to violence against the security forces. IDF soldiers and Border Police forces, which guard us all, must be allowed to carry out their work. Violations of the law will not be tolerated," a spokesperson for the Prime Minister's Office said Sunday night.

Tensions have been escalating in recent weeks between some residents of Yitzhar and Border Police officers and soldiers deployed to the area.

In late October, several youths attacked a group of IDF soldiers, injuring one of them.

The attack drew condemnations from both the Yitzhar town secretariat, and the Samaria Regional Council, of which Yitzhar is a part.

At least twice during the past week, Yitzhar residents threw rocks at Border Police officers traveling near the entrance to their town.

Some security personnel have also been accused of attacking locals, prompting protests by Yitzhar residents.