Police seize weapons from hard-line settlement
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Police seize weapons from hard-line settlement

Knives, tear gas canisters, black masks and other gear for use against Palestinians, Israeli forces found in Yitzhar

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

The paraphernalia seized by the police in Yitzhar on Feb. 3, 2015. The settlement has long been a hotbed of extremism and violent protest. (Photo credit: Courtesy of Israeli Police)
The paraphernalia seized by the police in Yitzhar on Feb. 3, 2015. The settlement has long been a hotbed of extremism and violent protest. (Photo credit: Courtesy of Israeli Police)

Police on Tuesday seized weaponry and other gear from the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar, which they say would have been used against Palestinians and Israeli security forces.

Police found knives, saws, flammable liquids, tear gas canisters, black face masks and other paraphernalia in a nighttime raid on a caravan in the settlement.

Police also ordered a minor in the settlement to stay away from the Samaria region for four months, Israel Radio reported.

Ahiad Liebman, 17, said the restraining order, which was signed by IDF Major General Nitzan Alon, made him happy.

“When the bad guys are fighting against you, you can know you’re on the right path,” he explained to HaKol HaYehudi, a Yitzhar-based online mouthpiece.

The hard-line settlement has been described as extremist and racist for the residents’ often violent protests and attacks on both the surrounding Palestinian villages and the Israeli military and police.

In 2008 after an attack on the settlement in which a child was stabbed, a group from Yitzhar went to the village where the attacker was believed to live and proceeded to shoot and wound eight people, set fire to homes and vandalize the village. Then-prime minister Ehud Olmert called Yitzhar’s attack on the village a “pogrom.”

This past April, Yitzhar residents attacked Border Police with stones, burned tires and eventually destroyed an IDF outpost. The Border Police responded by shutting down a yeshiva in the settlement linked to the extremist actions and turned it into a temporary base.

In June the tires of an IDF truck were slashed during a delivery to the soldiers who were stationed there to protect the settlement.

After the April 2014 attacks six former directors of the Shin Bet security service called the actions of the Yitzhar settlement “Jewish terror.”

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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