Four yeshiva students studying in a West Bank settlement were arrested Monday for attacking law enforcement officers and allegedly vandalizing Palestinian property, police said.
Officers on Monday morning went to the settlement of Nahliel in the central West Bank to arrest two students suspected of carrying out “nationalist” crimes against Palestinians in the area, Israel Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said in a statement.
When they arrived with a court-issued arrest warrant, the wanted youths fled while their classmates assaulted the officers.
After a short chase, officers arrested the two suspects, along with another two students who attacked police. All four are minors, police said.
The four were taken in for questioning at the police’s nationalist crimes unit.
The Yeshuat Mordechai yeshiva is headed by Rabbi Yigal Shendorfi, considered a leader of the Jewish extremist Hilltop Youth movement.
This is not the first time residents of the mostly ultra-Orthodox settlement, located west of Ramallah, have been implicated in extreme right-wing activities and acts of violence against Palestinians.
Earlier this year, seven Nahliel residents were indicted for attempting to firebomb a Palestinian family as well as a litany of other attacks in the West Bank over the last year.
Members of what the Shin Bet security service termed a “Jewish terrorist cell” included a 19-year-old Israel Defense Forces soldier and two minors.
During their interrogation, some of the suspects admitted to a string of attacks against Palestinians, including arson, vandalism, rock-throwing, assault and at least one unsuccessful attempt to burn a Palestinian house with a family inside, the Shin Bet said in April.
The suspects told investigators they were “inspired” by the Duma firebombing, a deadly terror attack carried out by Jewish extremists that killed three members of the Dawabsha family, including an 18-month-old baby, in a Palestinian village last year.
In the wake of the Dawabsha murders, Israel launched a crackdown on Jewish terrorism, arresting and prosecuting a handful of suspected extremists.