IDF Breaks Up Arab Riot Near Bat Ayin
A clash broke out Saturday night near the yishuv of Bat Ayin in Gush Etzion, after Arabs rioted in the area. The Arabs threw stones at Jewish residents of the town who were touring the area. IDF anti-riot forces broke the riot up, and two Arabs were injured. Troops detained four residents of Bat Ayin for questioning.
Earlier, IDF troops fired at several Arabs who were sneaking up to the security fence around the yishuv of Nir Yitzchak. The Arabs ran away, and later one was reported as having been injured lightly.
Two soldiers from Bat Ayin arrested in W. Bank shooting
Yaakov Lappin , THE JERUSALEM POST
Two soldiers on leave from the settlement of Bat Ayin, south of Jerusalem, were arrested by police on Saturday evening after using their military-issued guns to open fire on the neighboring Palestinian village of Khirbet Tzafah.
Following the shootings, a riot erupted in the village, prompting the entrance of security forces. A violent clash between rioting villagers and security forces ensued, as the IDF and Border Police sought to subdue the riot "using riot-dispersal means," the IDF Spokesperson said.
The riot dispersal means did not include the use of live fire, the Spokesperson Unit told The Jerusalem Post.
Two Palestinians from the village sustained light to moderate wounds, though it was not immediately clear whether the injuries were caused by the shootings or the subsequent clashes with security forces, the Spokesperson Unit added.
"Anyone involved in violent provocations will be immediately dealt with," the IDF said following the incident. "The IDF will not tolerate riots or illegal use of firearms," it added.
The violence came a month after Bat Ayin was targeted in a murderous rampage launched by an ax-wielding Palestinian, who killed a 13-year-old teenager with a blow to the head, and injured a seven-year-old boy. The terrorist, who was later apprehended, hailed from Khirbet Tzafah.
Early on Saturday evening, "A group of settlers from Bat Ayin began walking towards Hirbet Tzapa," the IDF Spokesperson said, adding that the settlers had reached an area between Bet Ayin and Khirbet Tzafah known as Givat Muhtar.
"An IDF force arrived at the scene and told the settlers to leave the area. The settlers were shown a decree stating that the ground they were on was a closed military zone," the Spokesperson Unit said. But the settlers ignored the soldiers, and continued to head towards the village.
"A number of settlers then opened fire at the village," the Spokesperson Unit said.
The soldiers admitted to opening fire on the village, and were placed under arrest by police officers on the scene, a police source told Post.
The two suspects were being interrogated by police on Saturday evening.
"The issue is now being jointly interrogated by the IDF and the police," the army said.
A Border Police source told the Post that security forces would remain in the area to avoid further clashes. "The Border Police is still there. Settlers and villagers are throwing rocks at each other," the source said, speaking several hours after the incident on Saturday.
New Ambassador to U.S. Favors Razing Jewish Yesha Communities
(IsraelNN.com) The Netanyahu government's choice for U.S. Ambassador is Dr. Michael Oren, who favors Israel withdrawing unilaterally from most of Judea and Samaria and razing most settlements. Speaking to the conservative JINSA institute earlier this year, Oren said he expected the Obama administration to use pressure on Israel to get Jerusalem to agree to establishing a Palestinian state. If Israel does not go along it will "be pushed into a corner," he said.
Oren, 54, will be Israel's next ambassador to the United States, replacing current ambassador Salai Meridor, who announced his resignation several weeks ago, the Foreign Ministry announced over the weekend. Oren will arrive in Washington within the next few weeks, at around the time Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu visits the U.S.
Oren has said on several occasions that the only way for Israel to survive as a Jewish state is to remove most of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria that are located outside the security fence. Speaking at Georgetown University last month, Oren was quoted as saying that "The only alternative for Israel to save itself as a Jewish state is by unilaterally withdrawing from the West Bank and evacuating most of the settlements."
Born in the U.S., made Aliyah
Oren was born in the U.S. and raised in a Conservative Jewish family in New Jersey. He immigrated to Israel and is currently a fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem and a contributing editor to the The New Republic. Oren was recently appointed Visiting Professor at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University for the 2008-2009 academic year. He is the author of the best-selling Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East.
Oren served as a paratrooper in the Israel Defense Forces, seeing combat in the 1982 Lebanon War. He served as IDF liaison officer to the U.S. Sixth Fleet during the Gulf War and as an army spokesman and media relations officer in the Second Lebanon War and Operation Cast Lead.
In one of the first reactions to the announcement that Dr. Michael Oren will be Israel's ambassador to the United States, MK Dr. Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) criticized the move, saying that Oren's appointment "unveils the true aims of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who spoke against concessions to the Arabs before the elections, and is now preparing the groundwork for Israeli surrender and the establishment of a Palestinian state."