(JTA) – Dozens of Israelis serving in the Israel Defense Forces military reserves protested settler violence outside the Israeli West Bank settlement of Yitzhar.
Located deep in the northern West Bank, Yitzhar was the site of a settler attack against an IDF patrol last month. On May 4, Yitzhar RabbiÂ Yitzchak Ginsburgh blamed the IDF 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 occurred 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, the Israel Police decided Sunday to establish a permanent base there.