Sunday, September 05, 2004

Israeli vigilante or IDF helpers?

The Jerusalem Report states that Judea and Samaria Police is investigating the Gedud Ha'ivri (the Jewish Brigade), a militant right-wing group based in the West Bank settlement of Kfar Tapuach, for setting up unauthorized roadblocks in which its members randomly select Palestinian vehicles for inspection.
If the allegations prove true they would be the first time a settlement group actively assumed para-military responsibilities, said Judea and Samaria Police spokesman Superintendent Shlomi Sagi. "We are currently investigating the allegations that they are setting up extra-settlement security perimeters, which is a crime," added Sagi. According to the group's own website it has extended activities outside the settlement boundaries where its armed members search Palestinian vehicles, ambulances and UN vehicles.
The Gedud Ha'Ivri, headquartered in Kfar Tapuach, is well known to security forces and have been called on to assist IDF operations a few times in the past. With the help of their unit of specially trained dogs, the 'Gedud' aided IDF forces in preventing infiltration of terrorists into settlements, and the canine unit has been deployed at roadblocks to sniff out Palestinian vehicles for weapons.
However, the militia has lately extended its activities to outside the settlement boundaries and has set up unauthorized vigilante road blockades to randomly search Palestinian vehicles, ambulances and UN vehicles.