On backdrop of settler riots in Hawara, video clip released showing right-wing activist lying on ground as police officer aims tear gas into his eyes.
Violent protest breaks out following incident
Published: 04.29.10, 22:19 / Israel News
VIDEO - The wave of arrests in Yitzhar did not pass quietly. On Thursday, right-wing activists published a video clip documenting a police officer spraying tear gas directly into the eyes of a rightist arrested during clashes.
In the video, the activist is seen handcuffed and lying on his stomach with two police officers standing alongside him. At a certain point, one of the officers flips the man onto his back with his foot as the other officer directs the spray into his eyes. Following the incident, a violent riot breaks out.
The disturbances started when settlers arrived in the village of Hawara and took their rage out on Palestinian property as part of their vengeance policy known as the "price tag." The Palestinians report that a nursery school had been vandalized, two houses damaged, and farm land torched.
Security forces and police positioned themselves in the area out of concern for a flare-up. The police arrested two residents, one on suspicions of blocking a thoroughfare, and the other on suspicions of torching a Palestinian field.
The Samaria Settlers' Council reported, "After a campaign of incitement and denying protection to the residents of Yitzhar and the hilltop youth, the liquidation stage has arrived. Border Guard and special police forces arrived in Yitzhar as part of the price tag against the Jewish settlers with the intent to destroy a home. This is a legal house with official permits, but the police refused to show their papers and beat the living daylights out of residents who opposed the house demolition."
According to them, "Even Yehudah Libman, a commander of a reserve unit, was beaten until passing out, and the police refused to allow him medical attention."
Judea and Samaria Police responded to the settlers' claims, saying that, as part of their enforcement of the building freeze imposed on the West Bank, they detained a local tractor driver who was performing illegal building.
"Dozens of people started to crowd around the site and blocked the force's vehicles while throwing stones, rioting, and burning tires. The police force detained four people suspected of rioting, including one suspected of toching an open field next to Hawara. The suspects were transferred for investigation in the Samaria District," the police said.
The police also reported, "Any show of violence towards the security forces crosses a red line that will be addressed with the full force of the law."
MK Ben Ari turned to the internal security minister demanding that a commission of inquiry be put together to investigate the event. "Violent police officers who act like they are in the Wild West must be expelled from Judea and Samaria District Police. The police are forbidden from excising a price tag against the settlers," he said.
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