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Israel settlers attack police during arrest of right-wing activist

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 occupation forces clashed with far-right settlers yesterday during an attempt to arrest a so-called “hilltop youth” activist in the notorious illegal settlement Yitzhar.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Israeli border police officers arriving at the settlement yesterday night were “pelted with stones, paint bottles and other objects”, with “a number of security vehicles…also damaged” by the settlers.

As reported by Haaretz, the target of the raid, Yitzhar resident Neria Zarug, is wanted by authorities for violating “an administrative injunction prohibiting him from being in the West Bank”. Zarug “has been residing on a hilltop near Yitzhar…and openly defying the injunction for over a month.”

When Israeli forces arrived to carry out the arrest, Zarug barricaded himself in a building, while his supporters confronted the police officers. The stand-off lasted for “about five hours”.

Settlers claimed that 15 right-wing activists were injured, while police said three officers were injured and three were arrested “on suspicion of disturbing the peace”.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office condemned the violence, calling for “the law to be respected and for an immediate halt to violence against the security forces”.

The incident on Sunday follows on from other recent clashes between settlers and occupation forces. As Haaretz described, “last week, five Jewish settlers were arrested on suspicion of attacking police who had put a halt to illegal construction work” at an unauthorised outpost.

Two days prior, there were two other confrontations between occupation forces and settlers, when settlers stoned police vehicles in separate incidents in the West Bank.

Last month, meanwhile, also saw “several incidents of settler attacks” on Israeli forces in the Yitzhar area, including stone-throwing and arson.

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