Twelve Israeli settlers accused of setting fire to Palestinian mosques, property and vehicles have been slapped with restraining orders limiting their movement in the West Bank, the Israeli military said Aug. 2. In a statement, the Israeli military said it had signed off on the restraining orders based on recommendations from the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet). The orders range from three months to a year, with six settlers told to stay away from certain communities, three prohibited from entering the Yitzhar settlement south of Nablus, and three more prevented from entering the West Bank at all.
"The orders follow the culmination of information recently gathered by the ISA, according to which a group of extreme activists living in the vicinity of Yitzhar have been, for the past two years, involved in leading, directing and executing violent and clandestine activity targeting Palestinian residents," the statement said. "These activities include igniting a number of mosques, vehicles, and buildings that belong to Palestinians, therefore endangering lives and disrupting public order. According to security assessments these acts, and more so the igniting of mosques, can be potentially detrimental to the entire area."
Militant settlers have adopted what they call a "price tag" policy under which they attack Palestinians, their fields or villages, whenever the Israeli government takes measures to curb settlement construction. A report by the Palestinian Authority found that settler violence increased "dramatically" in June 2011, documenting 139 attacks in the West Bank and the destruction of over 3,600 olive trees and vineyards. (Maan News Agency, Aug. 3)