Photo: Reuters
Havat Gilad evacuation (archives)
Photo: Reuters

Settlers urge police to probe outpost incident

After court criticizes police over arrest of six settlers in Havat Gilad, head of Shomron Regional Council demands appointment of commission of inquiry

Gershon Mesika, head of the Shomron Regional Council, called on the police over the weekend to appoint a commission of inquiry following an incident which took place three days ago at the illegal West Bank outpost of Havat Gilad (Gilad's Farm).


Knesset Member Arieh Eldad (National Union) said he planned to use his membership in the Knesset's temporary Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in order to hold a special discussion on the matter.


The incident took place on Thursday afternoon, when six settlers were arrested on suspicion of hurling stones at Palestinian vehicles and attempting to run over police officer. After their arrest, however, settlers claimed that this was an act of provocation by the police.


The Kfar Saba Magistrate's Court released all the suspects and criticized the police, saying that the method of action used in the arrests put human life at risk.


Mesika sent a letter over the weekend to Judea and Samaria District Commander Shlomi Katabi, claiming that the incident was a "preplanned ambush by Special Patrol Unit police officers."


According to the Shomron Regional Council head, "A vehicle carrying two Arabs, who may have been policemen disguised as Arabs, with a Palestinian license plate, infiltrated the Havat Gilad area and stood there with those people 'trying to fix a puncture in the car,' although all four wheels were intact and undamaged.


"This raised the suspicion of the farm's residents that this was an attempted terror attack like the one which took place in the Jordan Rift Valley," Mesika added, referring to a recent attack which left two police officers dead.


"After those two men responded to the questions with suspicious aggression and managed to reach the argument or conflict they sought to create, Special Patrol Unit officers who were hiding nearby emerged and attacked the residents with a great amount of violence and tear gas, including random people they ran across."


Therefore, Mesika stressed, a commission of inquiry must be appointed "and the incident must be thoroughly looked into.


"It's unthinkable that while we as a council and public leadership, together with the farm's secretariat and residents, the army's command officials and the police exert many efforts and manage to reach a state of peace and quiet in the face of the extreme Left's provocations, Special Patrol Unit police officers, of all people, create a factitious ruckus and planned provocations. This may thwart all the efforts and good intentions."


'Everything is permitted against settlers'

Yossi Dagan of the Homesh First organization strongly slammed the police, claiming that "the contemptible provocation by the Special Patrol Unit police officers proves once again that everything is permitted when trying to smear the residents of Judea and Samaria. Once again they proved that those who come to harm the settlement in the name of 'the rule of law' act as the biggest criminals.


"The question is why the police are forcefully trying to create a false pretence of violence in Havat Gilad, and what they wish to gain from this. The police officials who were behind this provocation must be dismissed. The police must compensate the residents of Havat Gilad who were badly beaten and arrested for nothing."


פרסום ראשון: 03.29.09, 07:58
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