Police issued a restraining order to Elkana Pikar of the hardline Yitzhar settlement early Tuesday morning that requires him to stay away from the West Bank for four months.
“The restraining order against Elkana Pikar was given due to his direct involvement in recent acts of violence [committed] in the Yitzhar area against Palestinians and [Israeli] security forces,” said the Shin Bet, which handed down the order.
During its delivery, which took place at 4 a.m. on Tuesday, Pikar told officers from the Judea and Samaria division, “You are a country of Sodom,” referring to one of the Biblical sinner cities.
He also told police officers that they were trying to “divide” between “all the good Jews.”
The exchange was recorded on video.
Pikar is seen by Israeli security forces as a leader of young right-wing Jewish extremists known as the hilltop youth. He has admitted to hosting members of the group in his home, but denies any connection to acts of violence or vandalism.
Protests have been held over the past several weeks across West Bank settlements in opposition to the reported issuing of the restraining order. His face has been plastered on bus stops, with the phrase “We are all Elkana Pikar.”
Last week, dozens of vehicles were vandalized with graffiti and slashed tires in suspected anti-Arab hate crime attacks in East Jerusalem and the Galilee.
In addition to the words “price tag,” — a right-wing slogan used in racially motivated attacks — the phrase “Pikar the king” was spray-painted on one of the cars in an apparent demonstration of solidarity with the Yitzhar resident.
Beyond the four-month West Bank ban, Pikar, 32, will be prohibited from meeting with a list of activists provided by the Shin Bet for six months. The father of six will also be required to report weekly to the Ma’ale Adumim police station.
Menashe Yado, Pikar’s attorney from the right-wing Honenu organization, called the order “a severe civil rights violation” adding that his group intended on filing “an urgent request against the order to delay execution”
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel, considered a left-wing organization, also condemned the ruling, calling administrative restraining orders “improper, offensive, and draconian.”
The ACRI statement added that it opposes such measures against both Israelis and Palestinians. “If there is evidence against a person, he must be brought before the court and allowed to defend himself in fair proceedings.”
Since receiving the order, Pikar and his family have received visits from various rabbis and community leaders, including Jewish Home MK Bezalel Smotrich.
“Stupidity and obstruction. A father who provides for a family of six children, one of the few who manages to catch and reset the hilltop youth bit…” the lawmaker tweeted.
The staff running the campaign in support of Pikar said they intended to continue their struggle against “the Shin Bet’s harassment of Jews.”