Border Police cop injured in alleged car-ramming by settler at extremist outpost

Officials say driver tried to force his way into Kumi Ori in defiance of closed military zone, hit and lightly injured officer, then clashed with troops during his arrest

The scene of a suspected car-ramming attack by an extremist settler at the Kumi Ori outpost near the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar, November 25, 2020. (Border Police)
The scene of a suspected car-ramming attack by an extremist settler at the Kumi Ori outpost near the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar, November 25, 2020. (Border Police)

A Border Police officer was lightly injured early Wednesday when a resident of the hardline settlement of Yitzhar hit him with his car while trying to force his way into the nearby illegal outpost of Kumi Ori in the West Bank, police said in a statement.

Police said the driver had tried to circumvent a roadblock at the entrance to the outpost, ignoring calls to stop, and hit the officer in the process.

The statement said the officer suffered mild injuries to his leg and was treated at the scene.

The driver, whose name has not been published, was arrested and injured in his face. Residents of Kumi Ori have alleged that was the result of violence during his arrest. The residents also claimed that it was the police vehicle that rammed the settler’s car.

But footage of the incident published by the police showed the suspect yelling: “Why are you filming? I will break your phone,” and attacking the cop during the arrest. Police said that was the cause of the suspect’s injury.

Dozens of masked extremist settlers subsequently attempted to block roads with cars and rocks to prevent the suspect from being taken into custody. One of them was arrested, reportedly extremist activist Meir Ettinger, the grandson and follower of the late racist rabbi Meir Kahane.

Border Police said the driver was suspected of an attempted car-ramming attack and disrupting the work of a police officer.

A closed military zone was put in place in Kumi Ori in October 2019 following a string of violent attacks on Palestinians and security forces perpetrated by a number of young settlers from the area. Its residents and some right-wing politicians have been leading a campaign to “lift the siege” over the outpost.

In July, two police officers were injured when they were attacked as some 30 Israeli teens arrived at Kumi Ori in order to rebuild a home that security forces had demolished in April.

Far-right activists clash with Border Police at the Kumi Ori outpost near Yitzhar in the West Bank on July 10, 2020. (Border Police)

Jacob Magid contributed to this report.

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