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."
An Israeli officer was lightly wounded in the attack.
Danny Dayan, chairman of the Yesha Council, which represents West Bank settlements, condemned the attack, as did the right-wing group Im Tirtzu.
The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America on Tuesday also condemned the attack, saying in a statement that "There is no justification for such heinous acts. Such actions undermine the security of Israel and the unity of Israeli society which itself is essential to that security.
"We call upon leaders of all segments of Israel and the Jewish community to conduct debates over policy through the political process and in a civil manner befitting Jewish values."