Youths rioting outside the disputed house
Photo: Reuters

IDF: Hebron violence shames us as Jews

Senior military officer launches harshly-worded assault on behavior of right-wing extremists in case of disputed West Bank house slated for eviction. Meanwhile army decides to deploy special Border Guard force to isolate, secure area

"The events in Hebron are riots, plain and simple. The damage caused to the Muslim graveyard, and the graffiti on the walls of mosques throughout Judea and Samaria – they shame and disgrace us as Jews," a senior IDF officer belonging to the army's Central Command told Ynet on Tuesday evening following a particularly violent day in Hebron.


Dozens of right-wing activists and Palestinians were wounded in the clashes, and it was decided that a special Border Guard force will be deployed to secure area of the disputed house in the city slated for eviction.


"I don't understand how the preparatory schools and yeshivas are willing to allow these boys to run about and riot without restraint," the officer said.


"Just today a 15-year-old youth was seriously wounded in Hebron; it's unclear why he there and not in school like the rest of the boys his age.


The Hadassah Ein-Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem said that the boy is undergoing surgery, and is in serious but stable condition.


Another military official told Ynet the Civil Administration has been working to calm the tensions in Hebron.


"We've sent calming messages to the Palestinians, without our taking this action the Hebron region might have erupted from both sides," said the official. He added that the situation is spiraling out of control, and the feeling in the field is that there is no leadership capable of dealing with the feral youths.


Following the escalation in violence a special meeting was held Tuesday morning by Central Command chief, Maj. Gen. Gadi Shamni, to assess the security situation. It was decided to deploy a special Border Guard task force to the volatile area in order to deal with the riots.


Border Guard officials told Ynet that "despite the public disturbances these past few days, we believe that the relationship between the Border Guard troops and the Jewish community will help calm the tensions in Hebron. The idea behind the decision to send in a special force is to isolate the Hebron region and that of the disputed house, and by doing so decrease the rioting and prevent the arrival of more people.


The officials noted that placing a Border Guard task force in Hebron, similar to the deployment of a task force in Naalin due to the rioting of left-wing activists, will allow the IDF to focus on terror threats and protecting residents of the region.


Extreme-rightist Baruch Marzel called the deployment "a miserable decision. Putting the force there will only fan the flames. We have seen before that the judgment of Border Guard troops is flawed and impaired. Putting them there will only lead to more violence."


פרסום ראשון: 12.02.08, 19:54
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