IDF demolition of illegal settlement buildings sparks clash

Israel Defence Forces (IDF) soldiers met with violent resistance from extremist Jewish settlers in the West Bank early this morning, when they moved in to destroy four illegally constructed buildings in the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar.

Hundreds of settlers participated, throwing stones, burning tires, blocking roads, and damaging IDF vehicles. An IDF post in the area to protect the settlement was also attacked. The soldiers responded with riot dispersal methods. According to reports six soldiers and four settlers were hurt in the clashes.

Yitzhar is a small mainly Orthodox settlement with a population of just 1000, situated just south of the Palestinians city Nablus in the northern West Bank. It is known as one of the most extreme settlements, and its residents have a history of clashes with IDF forces and local Palestinians.

On Sunday, vandals in Yitzhar slashed the tires of an IDF Colonel while he was visiting the settlement. Following the incident, Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon said, “We will not allow a marginal, violent, extreme group take the law into their hands, disrupt our lives and threaten IDF commanders and soldiers. We will act against them with the full force of the law.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “We will act with zero tolerance against whoever harms IDF soldiers and their commanders.”

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