Jewish activists vandalize West Bank army base

Following a confrontation at a West Bank military base, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered Israeli security forces to “act aggressively” against Jewish activists who attack soldiers.

The directive issued Tuesday came after West Bank settlers and right-wing activists vandalized the base late Monday night after gathering at a nearby outpost following rumors that it was to be dismantled..

The Israeli activists, who some critics have called terrorists, set tires alight and vandalized army vehicles, and threw rocks at soldiers at the Efraim Regional Brigade’s base near the Palestinian city of Kalkilya. They also threw rocks at passing Palestinian cars. Most of the activists reportedly were youths.

“This incident deserves all condemnation,” according to a statement issued by Netanyahu. “The security forces need to concentrate on defending our citizens and not on such outrageous lawbreaking.”

A statement issued Tuesday by the Defense Ministry on behalf of Ehud Barak said that Barak “views the string of violent activities carried out by criminal groups of extremists in Judea and Samaria with the utmost seriousness. These activities have the characteristic of homegrown terror and will not be tolerated.”

An Israeli officer was lightly wounded in the attack.