Students at the Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva in the community of Yitzhar claim that they were subjected to severe violence by riot police, the Israel Security Agency (ISA, also known as the Shin Bet) and Israel Police during a raid on the yeshiva around 3:00 a.m. this morning (Tuesday).
The legal defense organization Honenu is representing the youths and reports that one local minor was arrested in his home and two students arrested in the yeshiva.
Two of the detainees were released unconditionally this morning, after they were questioned on suspicion of having been involved in two confrontations with Arabs. The pair denied the accusations.
The third suspect, who claims that he was beaten after violated the police instructions by leaving his room, was released in the afternoon. A court ordered him to stay out of Samaria for the next three days. He is suspected of attacking the four riot police who arrested him.
The students and yeshiva staff say that the police acted brutally and for no clear reason. "It seemed like the raid's goal was to annoy us."
According to witnesses, the police refused to show a warrant but still entered the rooms, woke the students and confiscated all of the phones and cameras they saw. The students believe that the confiscations were intended to prevent anyone from recording what occurred.
Afterwards the officers carried out a comprehensive search. Witnesses say they overturned the contents of closets and personal property without discrimination and even threw the boys' bedding on the floor.
Two students who left their rooms were ordered to return to them. Even though they complied, a riot police officer knocked them to the floor.
Another student was beaten for allegedly not listening to the officers' orders not to leave his room during the raid. He says that several officers punched him.
The Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva says that it views the officers' conduct as a "hate crime." The injured students intend to submit complaints to the Police Investigations Unit and are considering the possibility of filing a personal civil suit against the violent officers. "The yeshiva students continue to learn Torah happily. Through much love of Israel, we hope that the police and the riot police will come out of their confusion and return to their true work – eradicating the murderous Arab terror that runs rampant all through the country."