20% Rise in Settlers violence towards Palestinians
Ynet - June, 9th - Since the beginning of the year, there was 15-20% rise in number of criminal cases opened against settlers for attacking Palestinians, compared to the same period last year, so say Police officials to Ynet.
Today (Wednesday) five settlers from Itzhar were arrested in suspicion of attacking a Palestinian man and stealing his herd. After the Police entered the settlement and detained the suspects, the settlers closed the main gate and attacked the policemen. Additional police forces were called to aid and rescue the attacked police force.
This incident joins a string of similar events that occurred last week: On Saturday, five teenager girl settlers attacked one Palestinian girl near Hazon outpost. The Palestinian girl was lightly injured. In another incident, a settler teenager boy was arrested in suspicion that of killing one sheep near the village of Ammatinn together with five other youths, and also firing shots that caused damage to Palestinian warehouse.
Police officials told Ynet that there is a rise of offenses of disturbance of order by settlers aimed towards Palestinians and Palestinian property. Ynet also found out that a special meeting was held by police and IDF high ranking officers were methods were discussed for stopping the settlers offensive behavior.
The incident at Itzhar â€“ Police version
A few days ago, the suspects, all residents of Itzhar settlement at the Northern Samaria, stole a herd of sheep and led it to Shaked farm near the settlement. A complaint was filed with the local police.
The sheep owner, a Palestinian man, came to the farm and recognized his sheep by special markings. He gathered his sheep and proceeded to take them back to his village. As he was making his way, several settlers stopped him and attacked him. Police force that was nearby and saw what happened arrested the settlers.
When the police car left the settlement, the exit was blocked with rocks and tires put there by settlers. Additional police forces were called in to assist the trapped police force. During the rescue operation, the settlers continued to make attempts to block the road. At that stage, one of the settlers was lightly injured when a police car accidentally went over his foot. He was taken for medical care. The five suspected thieves were taken for questioning at the police station.
The incident at Itzhar â€“ Settelers version
The police force included Yasam (patrol unit) and detectives. They came to the settlement with a Palestinian man rom the nearby village in the car. Police let the Palestinian take some sheep that belonged to one of the local residents without consulting or notifying the owner. The Palestinian proceeded to take the herd to his village.
Residents who saw a Palestinian walking in a place he is forbidden to enter according to military orders, called in the local civil security force. An IDF force was also called. The Palestinian fled after he saw the civil security force. The sheep were gathered back to the settlement. Other Palestinians who started nearing the place were stopped by the military force.
The policeman hit the members of the civil security force and arrested their leaders using excessive violence. At the gate of the settlement, local residents, including women and children, tried to protest the false arrest and block the way for the police car. They were bitten violently by police forces. One of the protestors was ran over by police car and had to be evacuated by ambulance.