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In settlement yeshiva, 2 arrested for attack on Palestinians

Pair questioned over rock-throwing incident in local village; police uncover weapons, firecrackers in Yitzhar

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Ammunition, firecrackers, and a sling shot discovered by police in the Od Yosef Hai yeshiva in the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar, March 15, 2016. (Israel Police)
Ammunition, firecrackers, and a sling shot discovered by police in the Od Yosef Hai yeshiva in the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar, March 15, 2016. (Israel Police)

Two Israelis were arrested for suspected attacks on Palestinians during a court-ordered raid Tuesday on a yeshiva in the radical West Bank settlement of Yitzhar, police said.

Officers descended on the Od Yosef Hai yeshiva, where they also found ammunition, various fireworks, and a slingshot in the possession of minors.

“We take a serious view of any case of illegally storing various kinds of weapons, and we will enforce the law everywhere,” police said.

The two suspects, an adult and a minor, were arrested in connection with a rock-throwing attack on Palestinians from the village of Asira al-Qibliya a week and a half ago. They were questioned and later released.

A third minor was arrested, with police saying he attacked officers during the raid and then attempted to flee. He was questioned in the Shomron police headquarters and later released, having been served a restraining order keeping him away from the yeshiva until March 18.

View of the entrance to the Israeli West Bank settlement of Yitzhar. (Flash 90)
View of the entrance to the Israeli West Bank settlement of Yitzhar. (Flash 90)

In January the Lod District Court sentenced six residents of Yitzhar to eight months in prison, with an addition eight-month suspended term, for attacking Israeli security forces. They were sentenced as part of a plea bargain on charges of rock-throwing, vandalism and disrupting police work in summer 2013.

The attacks, which the court labeled as “ideological,” also included aiming burning tires at security forces on patrol.

Yitzhar settlers have clashed with security forces on more than one occasion, including a April 2014 incident in which they demolished an IDF post near the settlement. Authorities have also pulled down illegally built structures at the settlement.

Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

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