Police, Border Guard and IDF troops entered the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar early Thursday and arrested seven residents including three minors. Police said they had been arrested because they failed to show up for questioning.
Those arrested are suspected, among other things, of disturbing public order. It is not clear whether the arrests have any connection with recent settlement acts of vengeance against Palestinians, known as "price tag" acts, or with recent settler violence against IDF troops.
Yitzhar residents claim that the police are extracting a "price tag" policy of their own, and that this week police have been present at the entrance to the settlement distributing fines for petty vehicle-related offences.
Yitzhar spokesman Avraham Binyamin, who was also questioned by police, told Ynet that at about 4:30 am the security forces dragged him out of bed because, they said, he had failed to respond to three orders sent by post that he present himself for questioning.
"It's just a police plot," he said. "There were no such orders. There are many ways to arrest someone, it doesn't have to be done in the dead of night."
Last week the IDF reported that settlers from Yitzhar beat a soldier, lightly wounding him. The IDF also said that settlers threw stones at troops and punctured the tires of an army vehicle. The clashes between the IDF and the settlers broke out after the army issued a closed military zone order to prevent the settlers from having access to the Palestinian town of Madma, south of Nablus.
The IDF said, "Violence against soldiers cannot be tolerated, especially on the day Israel celebrates its independence. This intolerable and aberrant behavior will be handled according to the law and with the necessary resolve."
A police spokesman said following the clashes a young man had been arrested after being seen slashing the tires of a military vehicle, and was taken for questioning.