Nine settler teens barred from entering West Bank arrested


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel Police arrested nine settler teens who have been barred from entering the West Bank.

The teens were staying in an apartment in Jerusalem set up for members of the Hilltop Youth, extremist settler teens, who have been barred from the West Bank.

A gag order has been placed on the arrests and the investigation against the teens.

The apartment was established by Elkana Pikar, a resident of the northern West Bank settlement of Yitzhar and a father of six who was barred from the West Bank with an administrative order. The order came after the Israel Security Agency, or Shin Bet, alleged Pikar, a building contractor, posed a danger to security for hosting such teens at his home, though he claimed they worked for him and he was providing them with food and a place to eat. He is accused of violence against Palestinians and against Israeli security services.

Pikar told Ynet the teens work in temporary jobs during the day and gather at the Jerusalem apartment in the evening to study Torah.

The restraining orders also require the teens to not have contact with other members of the Hilltop Youth.