Settlers throw rocks, damage police vehicle in Yitzhar

Officers search home of couple suspected in price tag attack; radical settlement has been a flashpoint for violence

The entrance to the settlement of Yitzhar in the West Bank. (Flash90/File)
The entrance to the settlement of Yitzhar in the West Bank. (Flash90/File)

Right wing activists clashed early Sunday morning with police who came to the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar to search the home of a couple suspected of participating in a “price tag” attack.

During the clashes, activists threw rocks at police and damaged a Border Police vehicle.

The couple were arrested on suspicion that they had been involved in a racist attack in the northern city of Umm al-Fahm. During that attack last month, vandals torched the front door of a mosque and spray-painted racist invective on its wall.

“Price tag” is a term used to describe acts of vandalism and violence associated with the settler movement in retaliation for Palestinian attacks and to protest what they perceive as the Israeli government’s pro-Palestinian policies. Mosques, churches, dovish Israeli groups and even Israeli military bases have been targeted in such assaults.

Yitzhar, which is home to some of the more radical elements in the Jewish settler movement, has been a flashpoint for violence between right-wing activists and Israeli security forces.

In early April, an enraged mob protesting the demolition of five illegal buildings in the area stormed an army post in the settlement.

According to a military source, the settlers threatened the soldiers, all reservists, telling them to stand aside to avoid getting hurt. Eight people, including six border guards, were injured. All of the military equipment at the site was destroyed, including tents, heating equipment, a toilet, and a water tank.

In the wake of that attack, a Border Police company was positioned in the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva building in Yitzhar.

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