Dozens of settlers surround IDF patrol in West Bank and assault soldiers

IDF patrol vehicle near Shilo trapped by roadblocks; settlers and soldiers clash in what a senior officer calls ‘crossing a red line.’

By Anshel Pfeffer haaretz online.

Dozens of Jewish settlers surrounded an IDF patrol vehicle on Wednesday evening near the Shilo settlement, setting up roadblocks and physically assaulting IDF soldiers.

The incident began after rumors circulated that the Gal Yosef illegal outpost is about to be evacuated. At approximately 9 P.M. the settlers erected roadblocks and blocked the entrance to the outpost with their cars.

An IDF patrol vehicle that arrived on the scene was blocked by settlers. The soldiers tried to turn back, but were stopped by more roadblocks.

The vehicle was then surrounded by a few dozen youth from nearby settlements. When the soldiers asked them to let the vehicle pass, one of the soldiers was punched in the face, prompting a violent clash between the two sides. Soldiers who were called to the scene were able to detain one of the attackers, but he managed to escape.

A senior IDF commander said that “the army sees this incident as crossing a red line, and the settlers who were involved in violence against the soldiers will be arrested soon by the police.”

Officers serving in the West Bank have reported recently that tensions between security forces and settlers are on the rise. According to one senior office, “the security forces spend more time dealing with incidents involving Israeli citizens than confronting Palestinian terrorism.”


Masked West Bank settlers, top, clashing with Palestinians in the village of Assira al-Kibliya. Photo by: AP

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