6 Israeli officers hurt in clash with settlers

Six Israeli border police officers were hurt in clashes between Israeli security forces and settlers in the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar.

Hundreds of supporters of the Jewish settlement located deep in the West Bank near Nablus rallied to the settlement late on April 8 after Israeli security forces arrived to demolish several illegal structures. People were living in two of the structures; at least two other structures were under construction.

The settlers threw stones, burned tires and blocked roads, according to the Israel Defense Forces. They also attacked a nearby IDF guard post responsible for the settlement’s security.

Two settlers were injured and eight arrested. About 200 families live in Yitzhar.

Attacks on security forces in the West Bank have increased recently, according to the IDF. On April 6, the tires of the IDF commander of the Samaria Brigade were slashed while he was visiting Yitzhar, and a teenage resident of Yitzhar was arrested for the crime.  On April 7, the tires of a jeep on routine IDF patrol in Yitzhar also were slashed.

“The IDF views such events harshly,” the Israeli military said in a statement. “Any assault on army commanders, regular or reserves, who are engaged day and night in defending the people of Israel, is crossing a red line.”

The IDF also noted that such incidents take its attention away from protecting the residents of the settlements.

“These incidents are not new,” Maj.-Gen. Gadi Shamni said. “The question is why isn’t there any deterrence and why are those rioters not afraid? The answer is that they have a strong lobby at the Knesset, and an over-the-top backup of settlers’ local leadership, rabbis and a forgiving court.” — jta & ynetnews.com