Israeli army GOC Central Command Major General Yair Naveh, signed on Monday evening, an order an order declaring the Jewish settlements in the West Bank town of Hebron closed military zones after the violent clashes between settlers and Israeli soldiers.
Settlers in the area have rioted over the planned evacuation of eight settler families who occupied the city’s wholesale vegetable market for the last four years.
Police officers were instructed to arrest any masked settler who attempts to beat security forces or throw stones at them.
On Monday, soldiers arrested 15 settlers over suspected involvement in rioting.
According to Israeli sources, the police will begin within the coming day to evacuate hundreds of youth settlers who came to Hebron in recent days to take part in the rioting.
The settlers torched several Palestinian homes and stores during the rioting.
Some 250 policemen streamed into Hebron on Monday in order to reinforce that large number of security forces who came to the area after the riots started last week.
Israeli online daily, Haaretz, reported that in meetings Naveh held with security forces heads in Hebron, they informed him that if they do not apply severe policies against the rioting settlers there could be further escalation in the situation.
Dozens of police officers patrolled the streets near settlers’ homes Monday, in what was described as "a boosted police presence".
Police warned that any individual with an outstanding arrest warrant would be detained, Haaretz added.
Officially, the settlers should have been evacuated on Sunday as the evacuation order took effect, but the army said it would not proceed with the evacuation until next month, while the settlers vowed to resist the evacuation.
Also, the settlers complained that the police are using violence with them, and that the soldiers and policemen are entering their properties without a warrant.
The police refused to comment on the allegations, and said they have not received any complaint.
In the meanwhile, the Beit Shemesh Magistrate’s Court issued on Monday a temporary injunction against the evacuation of three stores in the wholesale vegetable market, in Hebron, where a settler family with eight children has been living, Haaretz added.
The Israeli High Court bared the army from evacuating the family until the matter is debated on Tuesday morning.
Also on Monday, the acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert cautioned settlers that they would not be able to continue with violent protests.
Olmert told members of the Kadima faction Monday that he has instructed the security forces to prepare a firm response to any further rioting.
He added that Israel will not tolerate the use of violence against the soldiers, and the government cannot allow this situation to continue.