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IDF troops arrest 4 settlers after 2 tried to break into West Bank base

Soldiers spotted two suspects climbing fence into the Samaria Regional Brigade HQ amid ongoing violence by so-called hilltop youth

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

Israeli soldiers stand on a road in the central West Bank where two improvised explosive devices were uncovered on November 22, 2020. (Israel Defense Forces)
Illustrative. Israeli soldiers stand on a road in the central West Bank where two improvised explosive devices were uncovered on November 22, 2020. (Israel Defense Forces)

Soldiers arrested four Israeli settlers in the northern West Bank after two of them attempted to break into a military base on Thursday afternoon, the Israel Defense Forces said.

According to the military, two suspects were spotted climbing the fence into the Samaria Regional Brigade’s headquarters near Nablus. When soldiers were dispatched to arrest them, the pair fled the scene, with the IDF troops giving chase.

The two suspected infiltrators were caught and arrested, along with two other settlers who were found nearby and were suspected of being part of the same group.

The IDF said all four were handed over to police for investigation.

The highly irregular incident came amid growing unrest in the West Bank, with young nationalist Israelis — referred to as hilltop youth for the hilltops on which they often set up illegal outposts — clashing regularly with Israeli security forces and attacking Palestinians in recent weeks.

This uptick in violence came in response to the death of Ahuvia Sandak, a 16-year-old killed in a car crash last month while fleeing from police after allegedly throwing rocks at Palestinians.

Police have said the driver lost control of the vehicle and it overturned, while settlers have claimed the crash was caused by a police car ramming the vehicle.

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