Violent clashes between police and settlers broke out late Tuesday night at Givat Ronen outpost south of the West Bank city of Nablus. According to police, the settlers threw stones at the officers and damaged their patrol cars. However the residents say police used excessive force against them.
Police claim the incident began when they came to carry out an arrest warrant against one of the residents, causing dozens of people to gather around them. The rioters stoned their patrol cars, perforate the tires and caused great damage, officers said. One of the suspects snatched a vial of pepper spray and began to spray them with it, they added.
According to police, backup forces soon arrived and were also greeted with stones.
Police arrested nine suspected accused of assaulting the officers, disrupting a police operation, and causing damage to police cruisers. All suspects have been brought in for further questioning.
However the settlers involved claim police forces threw stun grenades at them and broke into their homes by force to nab suspects. According to them, the police officers behaved violently and injured three people.
About 25 families live in Givat Ronen outpost.
Following the West Bank clashes Knesset Member Michael Ben Ari (National Union) said: "Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch must remember he's not Gaddafi and that any regime that acts violently towards its citizens, beating, humiliating and punishing them collectively – his days are numbered."
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