TEL AVIV (JTA) — Dozens of Israeli reserve soldiers protested settler violence outside the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar.
Yitzhar was the site of a settler attack against an Israeli army patrol last month. Earlier this month, Yitzhar Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh blamed the Israel Defense Forces and the Israeli government for provoking the attack.
In recent weeks, a spate of “price tag” attacks intended to exact a price for Israeli government policies seen as detrimental to the settlement enterprise have been carried out in Israel and the West Bank.
“We regard defending Israel to be the highest value, both against terrorists from the outside and terrorists from within,” said Yair Fink, speaking at Sunday’s rally, according to Haaretz. “As reservists, we draw a clear red line before there is a murder here, which could be that of a soldier or friend from the army.”
Gershon Mesika, head of the Shomron Regional Council, which includes Yitzhar, accused the protesters of “political demagoguery.”
In the wake of violence emanating from Yitzhar, Israel Police decided on Sunday to establish a permanent base there.