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Settlers suspected of attacking police at flashpoint settlement

No injuries or arrests as cop car pelted with rocks, tires slashed overnight in Yitzhar

Tires slashed on a police car in the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar, September 23, 2020 (Israel Police)
Tires slashed on a police car in the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar, September 23, 2020 (Israel Police)

The tires of a police vehicle were slashed overnight Tuesday during operations in the flashpoint West Bank settlement of Yitzhar, police said, just hours after rocks were thrown at a different vehicle used by officers, smashing a window.

“Once again, we are witnessing attempts by lawbreakers to harm security forces working to enforce law and order in the area,” police said.

In the incident late on Tuesday evening, police said rocks were thrown at a vehicle carrying officers. There were no injuries.

There was no mention of any arrests in connection with either attack.

Window smashed on a police vehicle after rocks were thrown at it in the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar, September 22, 2020 (Israel Police)

Police suspect the attacks were carried out by right-wing extremist settlers.

Incidents of vandalism and attacks against Palestinians and Israeli security forces in the West Bank are commonly referred to as “price tag” attacks, with perpetrators claiming that they are retaliation for Palestinian violence or government policies seen as hostile to the settler movement.

Arrests of perpetrators have been exceedingly rare and rights groups lament that convictions are even more unusual, with the majority of charges in such cases being dropped.

Last month, a Border Police officer was lightly injured in clashes with a group of ultra-nationalist “hilltop youth” settlers during the demolition of illegal structures at an outpost near Yitzhar.

Dozens of settlers, with their faces covered, threw rocks at police officers who had arrived to clear the Shevah Haaretz outpost. Rioters also hurled paint bottles at police officers, hitting a number of them, and punctured the tires on several vehicles, police said in a statement.

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