Last updated: 30 August, 2011

Israeli army trains Jewish West Bank settlers

The Israeli army is training Jewish settlers in the West Bank to repel any violent protests in the territories when the Palestinians try to secure UN membership next month, the military said.

Asked to confirm a story first reported in Haaretz newspaper, the army issued a written statement saying it was in the process of training settlement response teams, “to deal with any possible scenario.”

But it declined to give details on “operational preparedness.”

Haaretz said the military had been training settlement security chiefs and their teams and giving them tear gas and stun grenades to equip them to handle any unrest which breaks out during the UN campaign.

Most settlers already have assault rifles or pistols.

“There is also a decision, in principle, to equip the chief security officers of settlements with the means for dispersing demonstrations,” the paper said, citing a document in its possession. “These would include tear gas and stun grenades.”