demolition of Shiloh vineyard
demolition of Shiloh vineyardAriel Tanami/TPS

Border Police Commissioner Maj. Gen. Amir Cohen ordered the suspension of four Border Police officers following the violent clashes which occurred during the uprooting of a Jewish-owned orchard in Samaria Wednesday morning.

In his speech at the swearing-in ceremony of a battalion of officers in training, Cohen said: "From this stage I once again emphasize that the soldiers of the Border Police stand like a wall in the defense of the citizens of the State of Israel - in Judea and Samaria, in Jerusalem, iat the crossings surrounding Jerusalem and all over the country."

"Extraordinary incidents, such as what occurred this morning at the Shuafat crossing and in the Shiloh Valley near Jerusalem, will be investigated and dealt with, in places where we discover a lapse, I will demand responsibility and strict treatment," he added.

He also said, "This morning I suspended from operational activity four soldiers who were involved in exceptional incidents of violence that were not in accordance with the spirit of the force."

However, Maj. Gen. Cohen refused to apologize for the treatment of MK Limor Son Har-Melech, who was surrounded by four officers who kept her in place with a human chain, and who accused one of the officers of assaulting her. "As representatives of the law, we make sure to maintain the status and immunity of Knesset members in accordance with the law, we will continue to act in this way in order to prevent danger to public peace. The Border Police is both a law-abiding and law-enforcing force."

"I will not allow anyone to turn the Border Police soldiers into a punching bag and engage in offensive discourse that could harm the operational and professional response that the soldiers of the force have been required to maintain for seven decades in protecting and maintaining the safety of the citizens of Israel. We will continue to act with determination and sensitivity in accordance with the values of the force."