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The damaged windshield of the IDF ambulance
Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit
Yitzhar tries to get Hilltop Youth in line
After Jewish youth pelted an IDF ambulance with stones as it was coming to treat a Yitzhar resident, the settlement's secretariat will require youth to sign document committing to adhere to instructions.
The Yitzhar secretariat on Sunday demanded Hilltop Youth sign a document in which they commit to adhere to the settlement leadership's instructions and act in a manner befitting the community's values after several of them threw stones at an IDF ambulance coming to treat one of the residents.

 

 

Those who refuse to sign the unusual document will be expelled from the settlement.

 

One of the youths, who is suspected of participating in the stone throwing, was already expelled on Sunday, and settlement officials said the other perpetrators will be made to leave as well.

 

On Saturday evening, a military ambulance was called to the settlement to treat a woman suffering from dehydration. On its way out of the settlement after treating the woman, the ambulance, which was not armored, was attacked by Jewish youth who hurled stones at it and hit its windshield. No one was injured in the incident.

 

The IDF ambulance attacked by the Yitzhar youth (Photo: IDF Spokesman's Office)
The IDF ambulance attacked by the Yitzhar youth (Photo: IDF Spokesman's Office)

 

A memo sent by the Yitzhar secretariat to the residents said an internal inquiry into the incident found that "the teenagers who participated in the grave incident do not study in the educational institutions in Yitzhar."

 

The settlement's secretariat went on to say, "In the coming days, we will summon all of the teenagers who are not part of a structured environment and require them to sign a detailed document in which they commit to adher to instructions from the community leadership and respect the public spaces in it."

 

After the stone-throwing incident, some 70 families from the settlement gathered for an emergency meeting, with Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan and most members of the Yitzhar secretariat in attendance.

 

The residents expressed their outrage at the attack on the ambulance, calling on the secretariat to take internal action against any violence toward the IDF.

 

The attack on the ambulance wasn't the only recent such incident. On Friday, nails and other sharp objects were scattered at the entrance to Yitzhar to prevent security forces from entering.

 

Sharp objects scattered on the road outside Yitzhar to stop security forces from coming in (Photo: IDF Spokesman's Office)
Sharp objects scattered on the road outside Yitzhar to stop security forces from coming in (Photo: IDF Spokesman's Office)
 

 

The IDF has noted an increase in attacks by Jewish extremists against security forces after restraining orders barring several of them from entering the West Bank expired.

 

Two months ago, the Samaria Territorial Brigade's operations officer was attacked by Jewish extremists in Huwara, while right-wing Jewish extremists attacked a military force sent to disperse a clash between Jews and Palestinians in the Binyamin area of the West Bank.

 

"We emphasize that harm of any kind committed against security forces doing their duty and protecting the residents of the area is grave, and we will continue to enforce law and order in Judea and Samaria," the IDF said in response to these incidents.

 

Nationalistically-motivated crime has also been on the rise, leading officials from the Shin Bet's Jewish Department to meet with influential rabbis who have sway over the Hilltop Youth, including Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh and Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira from the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva in Yitzhar, in an effort to calm the tensions.

 

The Shin Bet asked the rabbis to convince the youth not to carry out any attacks that could lead to further escalation in the West Bank.

 

The rabbis criticized the Shin Bet, saying the agency's use of restraining orders frustrates the youth and leads to the unrest in the area. The youths are also angry at what they say is "harassment" by the Shin Bet, which includes repeated raids on the illegal outposts in which they reside.

 

Despite the criticism, the rabbis have passed on the message to the Hilltop Youth, including prominent members among them, and are trying, along with the Yitzhar leadership, to ease tensions.

 

There have been six hate crimes against Arabs over the past month, three of them in the Samaria region and three in the Jerusalem area.

 

A week ago, police raided a home in Jerusalem housing many of these youths and arrested several of them, including two who are suspected of committing hate crimes.

 

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