Border Police and Israel Police forces destroyed two homes under construction and two trailers in a neighborhood late Monday night in the Samaria (Shomron) Jewish community of Yitzhar. A caravan was also seized in the operation, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Office, which tweeted a report on its Hebrew feed.
Hundreds of residents fought back during the demolitions, the IDF reported, burning tires, hurling rocks and blocking roads. Security forces used “non-lethal crowd-dispersing methods.”
The demolitions came after an IDF jeep was vandalized by community youths for the second time in two days, according to The Jerusalem Post, which reported the vehicle’s tires were slashed. On Sunday, tires were slashed on a commander’s army jeep.
In response, Yitzhar residents hurled rocks at the security forces, hurting six Border Police officers. Two required medical treatment. The security outpost for reservists at Yitzhar was also torched. Toilet facilities and water storage tanks were destroyed as well, according to Ynet.
Deemed a “price tag” attack by Yitzhar residents in response to the demolitions, the IDF Spokesperson’s Office said vandals also punctured the tires of soldiers and commanders.
Later in the day on Tuesday, four more homes allegedly were demolished by the IDF and police.
Jewish Home MK Orit Struk vehemently condemned the destruction, responding that a community spokesperson “which represents the majority of residents, disapproved of it… This does not justify in any way the declaration of war on the whole community because of the actions of some resident youths.”
“Collective punishment and destruction of homes as vengeance has for a long time been denounced as illegal by the Supreme Court when dealing with terrorists. There is no moral or legal justification to carry out such action against civilians,” she said.
A statement from the Yitzhar community also condemned the demolitions, saying the “policy of destruction and collective punishment by authorities against the residents of Yitzhar is outrageous… We urge security forces and their head to stop this policy and immediately stop the growing cycle of hostility.”
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