Senior IDF officer’s jeep vandalized as he visits settlers

Attack at Yitzhar follows string of incidents involving settlers and their supporters, including overnight arrests

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Illustrative photo of a price tag attack, a form of Jewish incitement against Arabs (Issam Rimawi/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of a price tag attack, a form of Jewish incitement against Arabs (Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

A senior IDF officer had his vehicle damaged by unknown assailants Friday in the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar.

Col. Yoav Yarom, commander of the Samaria Brigade, drove to Yitzhar in order to talk with community leaders about increasing violence between residents and Palestinians.

When the officer left the meeting, he discovered that the tires of his military jeep had been slashed. Other residents of the settlement helped Yarom change his tires.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and several settler spokesmen condemned the attack.

The attack is latest in a serious of incidents this week involving settlers and their supporters.

A suspected “price tag” attack was discovered Friday morning at a tree nursery in the Israeli Arab town of Kfar Kassem. The attackers cut down 30 trees, and left a sign reading “Regards, Esh Kodesh.”

The sign appeared to reference Tuesday’s incident in which 15 Israeli settlers were captured and held by Palestinians after they allegedly approached the village of Qusra in order to carry out an attack to protest the Israeli Civil Administration’s uprooting earlier in the day of an olive grove near the West Bank outpost of Esh Kodesh.

The settlers, said to have come from the outpost, claimed later they were merely out hiking. Some of them were beaten by their captors, and were handed over to the IDF after several hours.

Police opened an investigation into the Kfar Kassem incident.

Overnight, seven Israelis, including four minors, were arrested in connection with the incident in the Palestinian village of Qusra.

In an incident whose connection to Esh Kodesh is unclear, three men were arrested early Friday morning in Kibbutz Tirat Tzvi, near the Jordan border, on suspicion that they intended to damage the property of a senior inspector from the Israel Land Administration who lives on the kibbutz.

The three, aged 19-23, allegedly targeted the inspector, responsible for approving building in the northern West Bank, because he had distributed demolition orders for illegal structures in the West Bank.

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