Photo Credit: Gili Yaari / Flash 90
The Samaria (Shomron) Jewish community of Yitzhar.

IDF troops tore down two buildings in the small Mitzpe Yitzhar neighborhood early Thursday morning.

Forces included hundreds of IDF soldiers, police officers, and members of the Civil Administration.  Local residents did not resist.

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Activists and supporters of the community attempted to reach the small enclave adjacent to Yitzhar in Samaria overnight in an attempt to prevent the destruction.  However, the IDF declared the area between the Tapuach intersection and Yitzhar a closed military zone, turning away anyone who reached the perimeter.

The destruction follows a series of alleged “price tag” incidents, including the forceful army base incursion and rock-throwing of a small group of Judea and Samaria youth, the defacement and burning of an abandoned mosque in Jerusalem, and the torching of two cars belonging to Arabs in Judea and Samaria.

As a result of the upswing in illegal forms of protest amongst Judea and Samaria youth, a firestorm of accusations against residents of the areas conquered in 1967 has been raised by Israeli politicians such as Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Home Front Defense Minister Matan Vilna’i, who recommended the protestors be branded terrorists.

However, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has rejected the label, calling the 250,000 residents of Judea and Samaria good citizens.  ““It is important to me to emphasize that this is a small group that does not represent the public that lives in Judea and Samaria, who are loyal to the state and its laws and who condemn the rioting,” he said.

Residents have said that they intend to rebuild what was destroyed – a caravan home and an agricultural building.

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