The Nationalist Crime section of the Central Unit of the Judea and Samaria District Police announced Wednesday it had conducted a raid in the community of Yitzhar and confiscated a large cache of makeshift weapons which they say were meant for attacking security forces and Arabs. Yitzhar denies this.
Police said that the cache includes dozens of canisters of pepper spray, lightbulbs that – after being filled with paint – were to be thrown at security vehicles, gloves, saws, spikes, flammable materials, black face masks, knives, and 'ninja knives' for puncturing car tires.
In the course of the raid, a minor who resides in Yitzhar was handed a distancing order valid for four months.
Yitzhar's spokesman, Ezri Tuvi, mocked the police in his response to the raid. “A well-publicized nighttime raid whose loot includes empty bulbs, an empty military box, a garden faucet, gloves, and pepper gas, which is legal, indicates a level of intelligence that is not very high. The Israel Police would do better to invest resources in the real crime and the more serious offenses within its ranks and in the rest of the country.”
Security forces see Yitzhar as a hotbed of "Jewish extremism."
The Education Ministry in 2011 cut funding to the yeshiva, similarly claiming it was a source of violence.
Students and staff at the Torah academy are tired of the situation and stepping up their efforts to return. Rabbi Yosef Plai, a department head in the yeshiva, told Arutz Sheva that the military actions constitute theft and desecration of holiness, explaining why students and staff in recent days have started to protest firmly, calling on the soldiers to refuse orders and leave the institution.