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Israel police evacuated after settler attack in West Bank

Israeli police officers and Jewish settlers close the main street, leading to the settlement of Yitzhar near the West Bank city of Nablus, on 8 Nov. 2015. [Nedal Eshtayah/Apaimages]
Israeli police officers and Jewish settlers close the main street, leading to the settlement of Yitzhar near the West Bank city of Nablus, on 8 Nov. 2015. [Nedal Eshtayah/Apaimages]

Israeli police officers had to be extracted by soldiers after a sustained attack Saturday by Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank.

According to Haaretz, “dozens of extreme right-wing activists assaulted police” near the notorious Yitzhar settlement, with masked men throwing stones and other objects at police and their van, and puncturing the tires of two police vehicles. “No one was arrested”, Haaretz noted.

The police said that officers had been responding to reports of violence between settlers and Palestinians around an outpost called ‘Kippah Sruga’.

“While our force was leaving”, said the police statement, “dozens of masked men from the area arrived, throwing stones and objects at the policemen and their vehicles. Using knives, they slashed the tires of two vehicles, causing quite a lot of damage before fleeing the scene”.

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The report added that “army and additional police forces had to be brought in to extricate the police who were under attack”.

A spokesperson for Yitzhar settlement, meanwhile, claimed that police accosted settlers who were merely out for a walk, and “asked them to leave and used force with no justification”.

“After things heated up, there was a verbal confrontation. Instead of admitting their mistake, policemen used disproportionate force against the settlers”, the Yitzhar spokesperson alleged.

Even though “over the past several weeks, settlers from Yizhar and surrounding settlements have been involved in several altercations”, said Haaretz, authorities “have not arrested a single suspect”.

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