Havat Gilad inquiry determines forces acted proportionally
(Video) Probe into events surrounding eviction, demolition of structures in illegal outpost determine use of crowd dispersal means was 'proportional, restrained and professional', demolition orders issued legally. Settlers outraged over committee's conclusions
Last Monday, a Civil Administration team arrived at the illegal outpost of Havat Gilad together with police forces to demolish structures. Clashes broke out between the forces and settlers, during which the settlers hurled rocks at the forces. Police used crowd dispersal mean which included plastic bullets. Eight right-wing activists were arrested.
Right-wing Knesset Members demanded that a parliamentary inquiry committee be established to invsetigate the events but the internal security minister gave full backing to the security forces and claimed that they were under real threat. "The weapons were examined and approved for use in crowd dispersal operations", Yitzhak Aharonovitch said.
The team probing events surrounding the eviction and demolition of structures in Havat Gilad determined that the Civil Administration's razing orders were issued legally and that the work that preceded the demolition was carried out according to procedure.
Following clashes. 'False narrative' (Photo: Ohad Zoigenberg)
As for the clashes, it was declared that the use of crowd dispersal means during the demolition work was "proportional, restrained and professional," in relation to the scale of the event, its complexity, sensitivity and similar incidents that the Civil Administration and security forces had dealt with in the past.
'Police legitimizing brutality'
Settlers, however were unimpressed with the report. Yesha Council chairman Danny Dayan said in response: "Somebody has things totally wrong. The police aren't the judge in this case, but the defendant. Its own self acquittal means nothing, having been based on a false narrative. The inquiry's findings are reminiscent of a Pravda report from back in the bad days."
MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) said: "We all saw the pictures. It's a shame the police are digging in their heels and legitimizing police criminality."
The Shomron Settlers' Committee said: "The report demonstrates lack of knowledge of the facts and we shall work to see the truth come out." The committee also called for an independent inquiry committee.
Earlier on Sunday, prior to the submittal of the report, the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee held a debate during which alleged proof of non-proportional conduct by the police were shown, including pictures of veiled policemen, videos showing shock grenades fired at a synagogue and the firing of plastic bullets at Attorney Yehuda Shimon, Havat Gilad's spokesperson who posed no threat.
Meanwhile, young men and women arrested for blocking roads as part of the "day of rage" activities last Thursday are claiming to have been subjected to police brutality and said they will file complaints with the Police Investigations Unit.
M., 17, who was arrested at the Shilat Junction, claimed he was beaten during his interrogation at a Modiin police station. Two other teens claimed they were beaten for no reason by the same officer.
The police said in response: "As part of Israel Police's efforts to prevent the blocking of roads a number of rioters were arrested. They failed to mention being assaulted by a member of the police during their interrogation. Any such claim should be directed to the Police Investigations Unit."
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