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MK Ben Ari Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
MK Ben Ari Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
 
 

MK Michael Ben Ari arrested in West Bank

National Union member tells Ynet after arrest during protest against outpost evacuation at Yitzhar junction, 'I saw two children handcuffed, I wanted to check on them and was beat by Border Guard officer. I told him I was an MK and was arrested'

Efrat Weiss
Published: 06.01.09, 14:25 / Israel News

Border Guard forces arrested Knesset Member Michael Ben Ari (National Union) on Monday, during a protest against outpost evacuation at the Yitzhar junction in the West Bank.

 

The arrest was ordered by the force's division commander, and MK Ben Ari told Ynet he was arrested after trying to check on the condition of children who had been detained.

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During "price tag" riots carried out by right-wing activists in response to outpost evacuations in the West Bank, a number of settlers arrived at the Yitzhar junction and clashed with Border Guard officers in the area.

 

Speaking from a squad car, MK Ben Ari told Ynet, "I was on my way from Karnei Shomron to Alon Moreh to see the demolitions that were carried out earlier in Nahalat Yosef.

 

"I stopped at the Yitzhar junction and saw that two children were arrested and handcuffed with their hands behind their backs. They were being taken into a police car. I tried to inquire as to why the children were being taken there. A Border Guard force at the scene told me, 'Go away'."

 

MK Ben Ari said he got into the vehicle anyway: "I wanted to see what was going on with the children and why they were arrested, since nothing happened here.

 

"Then a Border Guard officer hit me, shoved me and punched me in the face. I told him I was a Knesset Member and he responded saying, 'I don't care'. I showed him my MK card and the officer told me, 'It's too late'".

 

The security forces plan to transfer the MK for questioning. According to Ben Ari, he felt ill and was in need of medical treatment.

 

A Border Guard official said in response that Ben Ari was arrested under the instructions of Samaria Brigade Commander Colonel Itzik Bar and assistant platoon commander 202, after he got on a police truck and started rioting.

 

According to the Border Guard, the MK disrupted the force's efforts to evacuate the area.

 

Who torched the fields?

A number of violent incidents occurred in the West Bank on Monday. At noon, Palestinians reported that settlers torched their fields and orchards on two different fronts.

 

Orchards in the village of Madama and Borin near Yizhar and the village of Jit near Khavat Gilad were set ablaze. Firefighters managed to subdue the flames, and rightists issued a statement saying, "This is part of the price tag on outpost evacuation."

 

Yehuda Shimon, a resident of Khavat Gilad said, "It is true that there are people who torched the fields, but the Arabs are taking advantage of what happened and lighting more fires in order to get money from the State.

 

"We received warning of the State and (Defense Minister) Ehud Barak's plans to evacuate Ramat Gilad or Havat Gilad as part of the bootlicking to the United States. When things like this happen, the Arabs approach the farm and use the opportunity to get near our orchards and burn our fields.

 

"The Civil Administration and the military administration chose to cooperate with the Arabs in the area, the Arabs are taking advantage of what happened to burn the fields according to their interests."

 

Monday morning, masked settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles driving near Kedumim and Karnei Shomron. According to the Palestinians, the settlers also beat the cars' passengers, leaving four injured, with one in serious condition.

 

One of the settlers responded by saying, "There are those who are used to the lies of the left and the Arabs."

 

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