Judea and Samaria District Police have taken three Jewish settlers into custody on Wednesday in connection to this week's attack on a military post near Yitzhar as part of a wave of arrests which police say is expected to continue.
Tuesday about 50 outlaws vandalized an IDF post in revenge for the destruction of illegal structures in the settlement of Yizthar. They destroyed the soldiers' tents, heating gear, diesel fuel facility, toilets and water dispenser.
Suspect in custody (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
The suspects arrested Wednesday included a 16 year-old from Yitzhar who was taken into custody in the morning and was brought to a remand hearing at Jerusalem Magistrate Court later in the day. The teen is accused of throwing rocks at Israeli police forces that were patrolling the settlement Tuesday night.
The other two arrests were made by security forces later Wednesday afternoon, and saw a 40 year-old resident of Yitzhar settlement taken into custody on suspicion of direct involvement in the recent attack.
The third suspect is a 20 year-old from Gilad Farm in the Kedumim settlement, who is also suspected of attacking the soldier's outpost at Yitzhar.
Investigators took the two older suspects in for detailed questioning. Police suspect that they were directly active in attacks on security forces. The police noted that they expect to make further arrests in connection to vandalism and attacks by Jewish settlers.
In the coming hours the suspects are to be investigated further by police in the Judea and Samaria District who will then decide if they will be brought to court to for an extention of their remand.
The arrests come after an attack which took place Tuesday on a military post near Yitzhar manned by 6 reservists of the IDF. Some 50 settlers destroyed the post in response to the destruction of several homes in the area deemed illegal by the Israeli government.
"These incidents are not new," Maj-Gen. (res.) Gadi Shamni said. "The question is why isn't there any deterrence and why are those rioters not afraid? The answer is that they have a strong lobby at the Knesset, and an over the top backup of settlers' local leadership, rabbis and a forgiving court. The issue is not a top priority for the Shin Bet, even though they love to call it 'terrorism.'"
Israeli President Shimon Peres who is currently visiting China, responded to the attack saying, "Nobody can imagine raising a hand or voice against the IDF which has always been the nation's most unifying thing. I was horrified to hear that a dangerous and unruly group wants to harm the most precious thing we have."
"We must put an end to these events in any legal and humane way possible," said Peres. "The damage this causes to the security of Israel is indescribable and I urge everyone to preserve unity and show responsibility. We will not let this little disturbance become a maggot eating away at Israel's security."
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon also responded to the incidents saying, "These outlaws are attacking IDF soldiers who give their nights and days to the safety and security of Israel. The State of Israel will not tolerate criminal attacks such as these which amount to terrorism in every sense of the word."
"We will continue to use a heavy hand and all available resources against violent and extremist groups that have no connection to Jewish morality. We will use every tool available to put our hands upon them and on whoever feeds them hate and sends them to carry out terrorist actions."
Yoav Zitun contributed to this report