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.
תבחרו למי להאמין.
דוברות המשטרה מנסה להציג את מה שקרה הלילה בקומי אורי כ"אירוע דריסה".
תושבי הגבעה טוענים שהשוטר התפרץ לכביש בחושך כדי לחסום את הרכב, אבל הנהג לא ראה אותו ובשניה האחרונה סטה הצידה.
למה גרסתם של קומי אורי הגיונית לחלוטין? כי זו ממש לא הפעם הראשונה. pic.twitter.com/5EjJ0IFBuC
— דביר גופשטיין ???? (@dvir_gopshtein) November 25, 2020
בקומי אורי אומרים שהתושב שנהג ברכב נפצע בפניו כתוצאה מאלימות במהלך מעצרו. במג"ב אומרים שהוא חשוד בנסיון דריסה והפרעה לשוטר.
המאחז קומי אורי מוגדר כשטח צבאי סגור למעלה משנה pic.twitter.com/eOMpjgwpuX
— Carmel Dangor כרמל דנגור (@carmeldangor) November 25, 2020
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.
Jacob Magid contributed to this report.