Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Thursday approved the extension of the IDF’s seizure of a radical Jewish learning center in the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar by three months, saying the military’s presence in the building helped reduced settler violence.
A Border Police detachment was stationed in the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva building in April, after a string of attacks on Israeli military personnel by local settlers. The officers have been stationed there for the past two months in a bid to prevent violence and vandalism against security staff and the surrounding Palestinian villages.
Ya’alon accepted recommendations by defense officials to extend the seizure order on the building by an additional three months. He said in a statement that the security establishment was “continuing with the uncompromising struggle against the nationalistic crimes of radicals.”
“We shall not stand idle and will continue to act with a heavy hand against those criminal terrorists who act against IDF soldiers, police officers and innocent Palestinians, and therefore I accepted the recommendations of defense officials to extend the seizure of the yeshiva,” Ya’alon said in a statement released by the Defense Ministry.
Ya’alon said that the violence against soldiers exhibited by radicals from Yitzhar in recent months didn’t reflect Jewish values, and harms the state of Israel and the majority of law-abiding West Bank settlers. He noted that the seizure of the yeshiva was having a positive impact in quelling settler violence in the area.
“Seizure of the yeshiva by security forces has had a positive and restraining influence on everything concerning the reduction of the level of violence in Yitzhar and its surroundings,” Ya’alon said.
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