West Bank settlers use ‘price tag’ tactic to punish Palestinians
It is a new and effective settler tactic known as the “price tag”: if the Government sends police or soldiers to dismantle an outpost that is being built, the settlers make the Palestinian population pay the price.
“It’s quite simple and smart but evil,” said Michael Sfard, a lawyer with the Israeli human rights group Yesh Din. “They attack Palestinian property, people, and blockade roads every time the Israeli security forces do something they don’t like” — such as demolish outposts.....
.....When the army dismantled the tiny hilltop outpost of Shvut Ami, an outcrop of the established Qedumim settlement, this week it was the Palestinians of Imatin who suffered.
“While the people in the place are confronting the security forces, people in another place will start harassing Palestinians to inflame the ground,” Mr Sfard said.
This has the double effect of forcing commanders to split men from their first objective, and making them think twice about launching future operations.
Ahmed Ghanem, a Palestinian farmer from Imatin and the owner of the burnt trees, said that the settlers invaded his land opposite the outpost before dawn, at the same time as the army was trying to evict a large group of settlers from the nearby hilltop.