Two security officers injured in clashes with settlers

Two security officers were lightly injured during violent clashes with settlers over illegal building on the outskirts of the West Bank Yitzhar settlement on Wednesday afternoon.

Border Police officers arrested three people, two from Yitzhar and one from the Neria settlement, on suspicion of throwing stones and assaulting policemen.

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The violence broke out when Border Police officers and Civil Administration staff toured the area and, according to settler sources, handed out demolition notices at an outpost.

The police released a video that showed masked youth and young men throwing stones at the officers on a dirt road and a stony hill.

Police said the rioters came from the direction of Yitzhar. A border policewoman was hit in the face by one of the stones.

At one point a shot was fired in the air to disperse the rioters, the police said.

Officers also used riot-dispersal methods, including tear gas and stun grenades, according to settler sources.

Police said a Civil Administration worker was also lightly wounded.

Settlers tried to stop the police from leaving the area, by placing a pile of large stones on the road and using private cars to block their path.

Settlers sources said the violence was unacceptable but alleged that police acted very aggressively while they were in the outpost.

The police called on law-abiding residents of the area to denounce the violence of a “handful of criminals” against those whose primary job it is to protect their communities.

Security forces have “zero tolerance” toward anyone who harms the police or soldiers on duty and will act to bring those perpetrators to justice, police said.