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Settlers riot during demolition at West Bank outpost, 3 cops and several youths hurt

Clashes take place at Kumi Ori, near Yitzhar; police say rioters hurled rocks and burned tires; IDF chief condemns violence toward officers

Security forces at the Kumi Ori outpost in the northern West Bank, December 31, 2021 (video screenshot)
Security forces at the Kumi Ori outpost in the northern West Bank, December 31, 2021 (video screenshot)

Settlers rioted Friday during the demolition of an illegally constructed building in a West Bank outpost, injuring three officers, police said. Several settlers were also wounded.

Security forces arrived at Kumi Ori, an illegal outpost near Yitzhar in the northern West Bank, to bring down a caravan erected there in recent days.

“Forces encountered dozens of rioters who hurled rocks at the forces and their vehicles, blocked roads by burning tires and even hurled burning tires at forces,” police said in a statement.

Three police officers were lightly wounded in the unrest. Officers employed riot dispersal measures against the rioters, police added. Several vehicles in the service of police were also damaged.

Several settler youths were hurt. Photos on social media showed injuries that appeared to have been caused by rubber bullets.

Military chief Aviv Kohavi condemned the violence toward the officers, in a statement released by the Israel Defense Forces.

“Violence against security forces is criminal behavior, which requires quick enforcement to the full extent of the law,” the statement said.

Magen David Adom said paramedics treated a man aged around 20 who was moderately injured in the riot. He was taken to a hospital. Settlers said he was hit by a rubber bullet in the chest.

The head of the far-right Religious Zionism party lambasted police for treating the settlers “as though they were enemies,” adding, “We will not forget and we will not forgive.”

The forces eventually demolished the structure.

Yitzhar and the surrounding illegal outposts have been the scene of frequent clashes between security forces and settlers.

A closed military zone was put in place two years ago, following a string of violent attacks on Palestinians and police perpetrated by a number of young settlers from the area.

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