Yitzhar settlement leader urges followers to step up ‘peaceful protests’

(JTA) — The head of a West Bank religious seminary that Israeli troops seized last month has called on followers to increase “peaceful protests.”

“We must do our part to continue and increase these peaceful protests,” Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh, dean of the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva in the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar wrote in a statement he published online Tuesday.

The building housing the yeshiva was taken over by Israel Border Police troops on April 10 as punishment for riots in which men from Yitzhar targeted Israeli troops and property to protest the razing of illegal structures at the settlement.

In his statement, Ginsburgh referenced an incident that occurred Monday, when relatives of victims of terrorist attacks heckled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his Memorial Day speech to protest the release of Palestinian terrorists as part of peace talks.

He also mentioned footage that appeared last week, in which an Israeli infantry soldiers was seen pointing a loaded gun at a Palestinian youth who had provoked him near Hebron.

“We are witnessing an unprecedented awakening. But now that we have witnessed these displays and calls for truth and justice, we must continue to do more,” Ginsburgh wrote in his statement titled “Public Call to Increase Peaceful Public Protests.”

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