JERUSALEM — Israeli security forces demolished nine illegal structures in West Bank settlements yesterday, including a wooden bunker that hard-line Jewish activists had defiantly named after President Obama.
Israeli forces also clashed with Palestinian protesters opposed to construction of Israel’s West Bank separation barrier. In one case, paramilitary border police wrestled a teenage boy to the ground, then fired pepper spray directly into his face to subdue him. The youth, screaming in pain, was then arrested.
Nine structures in Jewish settlements were removed, including a wooden bunker north of Jerusalem known as Obama’s Shack, Israeli military officials said. Young settlers threw burning tires at security forces in another location, and two people were arrested.
The crackdown coincided with signs that Israel and the Palestinians are on the verge of resuming peace talks after a breakdown of more than a year.