Youths, IDF in Violent Confrontation in Yitzhar

YERUSHALAYIM -

A violent confrontation took place between hilltop youths and IDF soldiers during the demolition of an illegal structure at Yitzhar in the Shomron on Sunday.

According to a military spokesperson, local residents threw rocks, blocked roads, and otherwise harrassed soldiers during the operation. Three people were arrested and the IDF said it views the incident as “severe.”

However, the secretariat of Yitzhar disputed the IDF’s version of events, claiming that they, not the youths, were guilty of violent conduct.

A video of the incident shows an IDF officer hurling stun grenades at a small group of peaceful demonstrators, some of whom appear to have been blocking the road to Yitzhar, while others seemed merely to be standing nearby, according to Arutz Sheva.

“We know of no incidents of stone throwing against security forces,” the Yitzhar secretariat said in a statement. “The picture of the situation after the incident [the evacuation] shows that the security forces behaved very violently towards the residents who merely engaged in passive demonstration.”

“During the incident, an IDF officer throw stun grenades towards the residents who were sitting on the side of the road. One of the people who was arrested passed out and required medical attention, but police prevented medics from treating him.”

The Yitzhar leadership also criticized Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman for pursuing a punitive policy against the residents since taking office.

“It appears that Minister Lieberman has finished defeating Arab terrorism,” they noted sarcastically.

Last week, it was reported that stones were thrown at an IDF ambulance that arrived in Yitzhar to evacuate a resident suffering from dehydration.