Israeli soldiers demolished, on Thursday morning, two constructions in an illegal settlement outpost, known as Mitzpeh Yitzhar, near Yitzhar settlement, near Nablus, in the northern part of the West Bank.Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported that the army declared the area a closed military zone in an attempt to prevent the settlers from obstructing the removal of the illegal structures, and added that one of the two removed structures was residential. No clashes were reported between the soldiers and the settlers.
Member of Knesset of the fundamentalist National Union Party, Michael Ben-Ari, visited the site on Thursday morning, and criticized Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, claiming that the two “are adding wood to fire”, in reference to further tension between extremist settler groups and the state.
The Israeli High Court ordered the structures demolished in a ruling issued this past August.
Besides blaming the government, the settlers blame the Palestinians for any removal of illegal settlement outpost in the occupied territories, and conduct repeated attacks against them, their lands and holy sites.
The settlers also blame Israel’s left-wing groups, and Peace Now movement, for the evacuation of settlement outposts. Arson was carried out against property that belongs to Peace Now activists.
“Price Tag” slogan has also been spray-painted recently on the offices of Israeli group Peace Now, and its members have also received numerous death threats over the phone and via text messages.
Late on Tuesday at night, a group of Israeli settlers attempted to burn down the now disused mosque of Okasha Bin Mohsin. They were unable to obtain entry, and so proceeded to torch the exterior, and spray-painted racist graffiti targeting the Palestinians and the Muslim prophet.
Several mosques have been burned by Israeli settlers over the last few months, including an arson attack in Tuba-Zangaria, which completely destroyed the town mosque, and also included graffiti saying ‘price tag’ in Hebrew.
Before this latest incident, the most recent attack against a mosque attack was carried out last week, and targeted a mosque in the western part of Al-Quds (Jerusalem). The settlers burnt parts of the mosque and wrote anti-Arab graffiti on the walls.
Although Israeli police arrested several Israeli settler youth in relation to that arson, no charges were filed and all were subsequently released.
Israeli media have reported that the settlers engaging in the price tag campaign no longer fear repercussions from the Israeli police for their attacks on Palestinian mosques and other holy sites.