Five rightist Knesset members called Thursday for a commission of inquiry following the evacuation of illegal structures in the West Bank outpost of Havat Gilad.
During clashes between residents and troops at the site, security forces used plastic bullets to ward off settlers.
Members of Knesset Yaakov Katz, Michael Ben Ari and Uri Ariel from National Union, as well as Danny Danon and Tzipi Hotovely from Likud attended a press conference along with Havat Gilad's spokesperson and a few of the settlers injured during the clash. The MKs slammed the police report filed by Police Commissioner Dudi Cohen and Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, and called the officers involved in the incident "liars."
"We were all combat soldiers. Why does it take hundreds of armed riot police officers to demolish a tent, a cabin and a gate in a small farm?" wondered MK Katz, who pointed the finger at Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
"The defense minister is doing everything in his power to humiliate us, but on Sunday all the red lines were crossed. A day will soon come when Barak instructs officers to shoot live ammunition at us. Given his hatred toward the settlers – he is perfectly capable of doing that. (Barak) represents a radical and extremist view, and must be dismissed by (Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu immediately," MK Katz said.
Referring to the plastic bullets used by the officers, MK Danon said, "This is a very grave incident; Jews are being shot with a new and unfamiliar weapon. The internal security minister failed to explain to us whether those were silicon, rubber or plastic bullets.
"They are trying a new weapon and the settlers are the guinea pigs. The law must be enforced in Havat Gilad just as it is being enforced in Ramat Aviv or Rahat," he said.
'Just like Amona'MK Ariel called for the establishment of a parliamentary commission of inquiry and slammed a police report filed after the incident. "If Minister Aharonovitch says that 11 bullets were fired, it means officers and commanders were lying, and therefore we need the commission," he said.
Meanwhile, Aharonovitch endorsed the security forces' use of plastic bullets against settlers, stating that "the officers were met with violent resistance that included curses, threats and stone hurling, forcing them to use crowd dispersal means."
MK Ariel saw similarities between the razing of homes in Havat Gilad and the 2006 evacuation of the Amona oupost, where hundreds of settlers and security officers were injured in violent clashes.
"The police acted in complete violation of all the guidelines determined by the attorney general. Shooting at Israeli citizens is only allowed in life-threatening situations, which was not the case. It was clearly meant as collective punishment," he said.
Elisaf Guri, a Golani combat soldier currently on his IDF discharge vacation and the grandson of former Minister Mordechai Ben-Porat, attended the press conference with a bandaged arm. Guri, who lives in Havat Gilad, said he was injured during clashes with security forces.
"The officers were aligned in front of the synagogue, and shot anyone who was outside. I've never seen such thing in my entire life; I was injured after an officer shot me in the leg, arm and back from close range, only because I was standing outside – I didn’t resist or do anything," he said.
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