Photo Credit: Hillel Maeir/TPS
Border Police converging on the Yitzhar settlement, Nov 10, 2019 (archival image).

Molotov cocktails were thrown at a Border Police vehicle on Thursday at the exit from the Yizhar settlement in Samaria. There were no casualties in the incident. The incident took place after two days during which the Border Police used a very large force to prevent the rebuilding of a synagogue at the Kumi Uri outpost, an operation that included arrests and declaring the area a closed military zone. As police were leaving the area Thursday night, three Molotov cocktails were thrown at their vehicles and one of them even hit a police vehicle, which suffered minor damage.

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On Wednesday afternoon, dozens of Border Police arrived in the Kumi Uri outpost and tried to prevent the rebuilding of a synagogue. Five locals who continued to fix the synagogue were arrested but later released. The Border Police claimed that the detainees had attacked the police, but they were only interrogated regarding their violating a closed military area order. One of the arrested locals was Meir Ettinger, grandson of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane.

After the arrest of the five locals, police officers confronted hill youths and local residents who arrived at the scene to protest the arrests. The police threw stun grenades at the protestors and fired sponge balls and gas grenades at them.

Police also destroyed valuable construction material that was being used to repair the synagogue, which had collapsed in a recent storm.

Many, including Honenu CEO Shmuel (Zangy) Meidad, voiced their astonishment at the fact that police are devoting such enormous resources and manpower to stop the construction of a synagogue, when the country is collapsing under the threat of a pandemic and their services would be so much better used elsewhere.

Virtually all the politicians who on Friday morning condemned the firebombing of police vehicles ignored the fact that someone over at Border Police command had it in for the Kumi Uri residents who were trying to rebuild their fallen synagogue.

Yesha Council Chairman and former Jordan Valley Regional Council head David Alhaini told Reshet Bet radio: “These young people need to be arrested, put in jail, they have no part in the settlement enterprise and Israeli society.” He also declared: “We in the settlements are tired of these people. They have to be kicked out.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement saying: “I strongly condemn the severe violence that was perpetrated against a Border Police force overnight. The security forces guard all of us. This would be criminal at any time but it is doubly criminal at this time when the Border Police and Police are helping us get through the corona crisis.”

Of course, neither Alhaini nor Netanyahu condemned the severe violence that was perpetrated in the middle of the coronavirus crisis against some Jews on a hill whose synagogue had been flattened by a storm.

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