Event #2825 Settlers burn olive groves, vandalize Palestinian property in the West Bank and harass Palestinian civilians Date: Thursday, 18 Sep 2008
Settlers vandalized Palestinian property in several locations yesterday after the Israel Defense Forces evacuated the outpost of Yad Yair in the northern West Bank. The evacuation itself
was not violent, but incidences of settler violence elsewhere in the West Bank were apparently a response to the evacuation.
"If the police haven't yet gotten it, then they will - there's a price to be paid for hitting settlements and outposts," a settler activist told Haaretz. In one incident, a field north of Yitzhar was
set ablaze. Two Yitzhar residents were detained for questioning. Palestinians charged that settlers also set fire to olive groves in the villages of Madameh, Burin and Asira al-Kabaliya, south of
Nablus. In addition, they said, stones were thrown at Palestinian cars in the area between Ramallah and Nablus. Near Dolev, northwest of Ramallah, settlers threw stones at Palestinian homes and
caused major damage, the sources added.
Palestinians also charged that the army prevented Palestinian fire-fighters from reaching the scene of the fires for a long time. However, IDF sources claimed that the Civil Administration
coordinated the arrival of the fire trucks from Ramallah and Nablus, but they were late in arriving, and therefore chose to blame the IDF for the delay. Route 60 between Jerusalem and Hebron was
blocked in several places yesterday and stones were thrown at Palestinian vehicles. Noam Federman, a former activist in the extreme right-wing movement Kach, was detained on suspicion of taking part
in the blockages.
According to Dror Etkes of the Yesh Din organization, however, Yad Yair was not even an outpost, but merely a site visited from time to time by right-wing activists. The site had originally
served as an IDF outpost, and after it was abandoned about two years ago, right-wing activists took it over.
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