Photo Credit: Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90
Local PA Arabs set tires on fire near the Huwara checkpoint in Samaria, March 2, 2018.

Seventeen suspected hilltop youths, including one minor, were arrested overnight Wednesday at the end of an undercover investigation of an assault incident that took place in the village of Huwara, where they allegedly caused damage to property in January.

The incident began when a convoy of about 30 vehicles drove towards the hills of Yitzhar in what they called a “prisoner liberation convoy,” accompanying a young Jew, a minor named A., who was released from prison after serving a year for throwing a stun grenade at a PA Arab’s home. The minor was released from prison on January 24 and his friends organized the “prisoner liberation convoy” for him, imitating the custom among Arabs when their prisoners are set free. The liberated youth is the brother of a major hilltop youths activist.


This is what happened next: a “battle of stones” ensued. Some Israeli vehicles were damaged by stones thrown by Arabs, at which point the Israelis began throwing stones at the Arabs in return. About 20 Palestinian vehicles and two shops in the village were damaged. Three Arabs, including a child, were lightly to moderately injured by stones thrown by Jews.

Over the past month, the Central Unit of the Judea and Samaria Precinct has been conducting an undercover investigation into the incident that included alleged assault, participation in a prohibited gathering, and damage to property for racist motives.

Otzma Yehudit Chairman MK Itamar Ben Gvir in response to the arrests carried out by the J&S Precinct Central Unit: “I have a hard time remembering the last time the police carried out an operation to arrest Arabs who damage property. Not a day goes by that on the roads between Jerusalem and Hebron and between Yitzhar and Tel Aviv, Molotov cocktails and stones are not thrown at us, and the police do nothing.”

MK Ben Gvir added: “The selective enforcement by the J&S Precinct that enforces the law only against Jews and not against the entire population, is racist and outrageous. It’s time to dump this unit.”

On November 19, 2021, Defense Minister Benny Gantz gathered Deputy Defense Minister Alon Schuster, Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, Commissioner of Police Yaakov Shabtai, Shin Bet Chief Ronen Bar, Central Command Commander Maj. Gen. Yehuda Fox, Military Advocate General Maj. Yifat Tomer, and Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Major General Rassan Aliyan for a discussion of “nationalist crime by settlers in Judea and Samaria.”

Referring to Arab complaints against Jewish settlers, Gantz stressed “what begins with a tree can end in bodily injury and, God forbid, death. Hate crimes are the root of terrorism and we must eradicate it.” And, make no mistake about it, he was referring to Jewish hate crime.

The Defense Minister concluded that the pooling of security forces against Jews in Judea and Samaria will include enhanced legal teams to prosecute Jewish terrorism.

So, what’s the source of violence in Judea and Samaria? If you follow this publication’s coverage, you know that every day sees multiple attacks by Arabs on Jews, especially Jewish motorists, on the roads of Area C, with stones and Molotov Cocktails that now and then end in injury and even fatality. It’s something you’d expect Israel’s Minister of Internal Security to know and share with world leaders when he meets them. But you’d be wrong. Take for example Labor’s Internal Security Minister Omer Barlev’s tweet on December 13:

“Today I met with the Under Secretary of State of the United States, Ms. Victoria Nuland. The Under Secretary of State was interested, among other things, in settler violence and how to reduce tensions in the region and strengthen the Palestinian Authority.”

The 17 Jewish suspects have been taken for questioning in the central unit of the J&S Precinct and depending on the development of the investigation it will be decided whether to bring some of them to court.

The brother of one of the detainees told Srugim on Wednesday: “These are show arrests that have a dual purpose: to show the extreme left-wing organizations that the government is working hard against the settlers, and to teach the few Jews who are still left with their heads held high and their Jewish pride that if a Jew is beaten, he should run away or turn the other cheek. God help you if you return in kind. This morning, the State of Israel denied its citizens the basic right to self-defense.”

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