IDF stations battalion near settlement following attacks by ‘hilltop youth’

An IDF battalion will be stationed near Yitzhar following the attack by Jewish youth which injured an IDF soldier. 

By World Israel News Staff

An Israeli border guard battalion will be stationed in the area of the settlement of Yitzhar in Samaria following a stoning attack by extreme right-wing settlers which injured an IDF soldier on Sunday, Kan news reports.

According to reports, 20-30 right-wing extremists, also known as “hilltop youth,” attacked an IDF force on a hill near Yitzhar. They also punctured the tires of the military jeep used by the troops.

In an unusual move, the forces, who felt their lives were in danger, fired live ammunition in the air, Kan reports.

It was the second attack by hilltop youth. According to the IDF, the commander of the Golani Brigade’s Reconnaissance Battalion, Lt.-Col. Ayoub Kayuf, was attacked near Yitzhar on Friday.

His jeep was stopped at the entrance to Yitzhar and “one of the settlers opened the door of the vehicle, threatening those inside it,” the IDF said. When Kayuf confronted them, one of them attacked him. The settlers deny the attack, describing it as “purely verbal.”

The leadership of Yitzhar condemned the attacks and asked the hilltop youth to leave the settlement.

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In a statement to the residents, the Yizhar leadership wrote, “The settlement views the behavior of the youth and the attack on soldiers as a scandal and a shame.

“The secretariat of the settlement defines clear rules of behavior as a minimal condition for the presence of the youth in the area. These red lines were shared many times in meetings and discussions, but to our regret this grave event illustrates that they’re not accepted in reality. As a result, we demand that the youth leave Yitzhar.”

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi also released a statement on Sunday morning condemning the attack.

“The chief of staff has ordered that all those involved be found and brought to justice… it is unconscionable that IDF soldiers, who work day and night to protect settlers, should be attacked by those whom they defend.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also serves as Defense Minister, said on Sunday, “I want to stand by the IDF soldiers and commanders who are working around the clock to defend the security of all Israeli citizens without exception.

“I strongly condemn any assault on IDF soldiers. There will be no tolerance for lawbreakers who raise a hand to our soldiers.”