The police on Friday released four of the Israelis arrested earlier this week on suspicion of destroying an army post near the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar.
According to Israeli media, one suspect was released after IDF reservists did not recognize him as one of the settlers involved in Tuesday’s incident. Earlier on Friday, the Jerusalem District Court ordered the release of three other suspects and instructed them to stay away from Yitzhar. Three others were let go on Thursday.
Thus only one of the eight arrested earlier this week by the police for destroying the IDF encampment outside Yitzhar, located near the city of Nablus, remained in police custody as of Friday evening.
Security forces had arrested five residents of Yitzhar on Thursday, two of whom were teens between the ages of 16 and 18, Channel 10 reported. The other three were aged 23, 28, and 29. Two other suspects were arrested Wednesday, one from Yitzhar and the other from the settlement of Havat Gilad.
On Thursday night, a Border Police company took over the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva building in the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar, as security forces continued to take steps against violent acts originating from the community.
According to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, the structure was selected “based on security needs to prevent violence and vandalism targeting security personnel and the adjacent villages originating from the yeshiva.”
Classes in the yeshiva building were suspended indefinitely.
Sources from the yeshiva called the move “a desecration of a holy place,” according to Israel National News.
“The yeshiva was kicked out of Joseph’s Tomb in the past, but it’s voice is growing stronger despite the government’s ongoing harassment.”
The move, approved by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, came after three days of increasingly violent confrontations this week between residents of the settlement and security forces that culminated early Tuesday morning in residents raiding an IDF command post near the settlement after security forces pulled down a number of illegal buildings.
Army reservists stationed in the settlement failed to turn back a rioting mob of dozens of settlers, who demolished their post and equipment in a violent predawn incident.
The settlers were protesting the overnight demolition of five illegal buildings in the West Bank community. The attack began just after the five structures were demolished by soldiers and policemen, according to police spokeswoman Luba Samri.
Some 50 Jewish rioters then attacked the military headquarters in the settlement in an attempt to tear the structure down. They also hurled stones, burned tires and slashed tires on vehicles, police said.
During the melee the settlers threatened the soldiers, all reservists, telling them to stand aside to avoid getting hurt. They then began to destroy army property in the settlement.
Eight people, including six Border Police guards, were injured. All of the military equipment at the site was destroyed, including tents, heating equipment, a toilet, and a water tank.
Police responded with “riot dispersal means,” injuring two settlers, Samri said. Eight people were arrested.