Correction: The masked security forces who participated in the raid on Geulat Tzion were policemen, not soldiers. Soldiers did not participate in the raid. The text below has been therefore updated.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013, 10:25 A drone, masked policemen, GSS agents and widespread searches in the area’s caves all were part of the security forces’ dawn raid on the Geulat Tzion outpost in the Shilo bloc, Honenu reports. Residents say that the policemen treated them as if they were terrorists.
Shortly before sunrise on Wednesday, February 27 large numbers of special security forces raided Geulat Tzion. The forces included masked policemen and throughout the entire raid personnel from the Jewish Department of the GSS monitored them from above with a drone. According to residents of Geulat Tzion the policemen grabbed all of the single men living in the outpost, gathered them in one place and then handcuffed their arms behind their backs with plastic handcuffs. One of the youths who refused to sit when asked by the policemen was hit and forcibly seated. According to the youths they were left handcuffed for over a hour and a half while masked policemen continuously stood over them with their weapons aimed at them. Simultaneously other forces spread out over the area and began to comb the area, ‘turning over every rock’. The youths relate that they noticed that the policemen had arrived well prepared and were familiar with the terrain and the surroundings. The orders they heard being given to the policmen and the GSS personnel were to thoroughly search each and every cave and crevice in the area. The youth could not discern from the policemen’s conversation the purpose of the search.
At the end of the raid four young men were detained, two on suspicion of violating an administrative order banning them from entering the area of Yehuda and Shomron. The other two detainees were not informed of the reason for their detention. The policemen did not detain any of the members of the two families living in Geulat Tzion. All of the detainees were taken to the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police in Ma’aleh Adumim. The youths left in Geulat Tzion were forced to release themselves from the plastic handcuffs. The policemen had not removed them before leaving.
After a short stay at the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police in Ma’aleh Adumim three of the detainees were transferred to the Kishon detention center in Acco where they were interrogated by the GSS. The police said that later the same day the three detainees would appear before the Natzeret Magistrate Court for an extension on their remand.
Honenu, which is representing the detainees, expresses astonishment and anger at the conduct of the security forces during the raid. “It is still unclear of what the detainees are suspected. What is clear is that apparently the security forces have intensified their efforts against the residents of Yehuda and Shomron, particularly those of the outposts. Plastic handcuffs on youth, including minors, beating and aiming weapons at the detainees as if they are dangerous terrorists liable at any moment to injure and endanger the policemen, are under no circumstances acceptable actions. It seems that this is the manner in which the decision makers have chosen to show whom they have marked as the genuine enemy of Israel.”