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update deskIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

Arab, anarchist rioters vandalize Judean town of Otniel

Israeli troops also came under attack at a military post next to the Al-Arroub camp.

Israeli security personnel near the Otniel in the South Hebron Hills, Jan. 17, 2016. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
Israeli security personnel near the Otniel in the South Hebron Hills, Jan. 17, 2016. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

Some 30 Arab and anarchist rioters on Saturday damaged property in the town of Otniel in Judea, south of Hebron, according to the Mount Hebron Regional Council spokesman’s office.

The rioters were spotted approaching the community, and its security patrol was waiting for them when they crossed into the town. The head of Otniel’s security called the Israel Defense Forces for help.

The rioters vandalized property and equipment and destroyed a tent used by the local youth for prayer and Bible study.

Military and security personnel arrived and removed the rioters. Two of the anarchists attacked soldiers and were arrested, the Mount Hebron spokesman’s office said. Some Otniel residents were also reportedly detained for questioning.

For their part, the left-wing activists claimed that they were attacked. Ori Givati, advocacy director at Breaking the Silence, posted on X (formerly Twitter) that “settlers attacked activists with severe violence at two o’clock in the south of Mount Hebron.

“The attack took place near police officers who did nothing and did not even allow the activist to receive medical treatment for nearly two hours despite his demand. No settler was arrested. The two activists who were attacked are arrested.”

The local council said in its statement, “We take the incident very seriously. Already during Shabbat, the council’s teams and its chairman worked to help the residents who were detained for investigation and to disperse the riot.”

The IDF and Otniel’s civilian security system are conducting a “comprehensive” investigation into the event, it added.

Terrorists attack IDF troops

Also on Saturday, the IDF reported that terrorists hurled firebombs at soldiers stationed at a military post adjacent to the Al-Arroub camp, 9.5 miles south of Bethlehem in Judea.

Troops responded with riot dispersal means and live fire. A hit was identified, according to the military.

No injuries to Israeli forces were reported.

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