Palestinian clashes West Bank_311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
The IDF is gearing up for an escalation in violent demonstrations in the West
Bank this week amid concern that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s
speech at the United Nations on Friday will motivate the public to increase
“We see calls for escalation on the Palestinian
street and expect more stone throwing over the coming days,” a senior IDF
officer said. On Sunday, the Central Command will review its current deployment
and depending on developments, consider the possible release of several units
from active duty in the West Bank to return to training.
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On Friday, IDF
troops shot and killed a Palestinian demonstrator outside the village of Qusra
in the West Bank, marking the first casualty since riots began earlier this week
in conjunction with the PA’s bid for statehood at the UN.
The dead man
was identified as 33-year-old Issam Kamal Odeh and he was shot during clashes
with the IDF troops near Qusra which is located close to the city of Nablus. On
Saturday, Judea and Samaria Division Commander Brig.-Gen. Nitzan Alon conducted
an inquiry of the incident and found a number of flaws with the way the IDF unit
at the scene operated.
The violent clashes erupted after settlers from a
nearby illegal outpost walked to the outskirts of Qusra and began provoking the
“The IDF unit failed to stop them from reaching the village
even though it was a place which had seen violence in the past,” a senior IDF
officer said on Saturday. “After the clashes intensified, a commander found
himself with a small force on his own which opened fire fearing that his
soldiers’ lives were in danger.”
Violence also broke out over the weekend
in east Jerusalem and at the Kalandiya crossing north of the capital. A number
of Jerusalem Arabs and Palestinians were arrested by police. Other protests were
held at the villages of Bil’in and Nil’in near the West Bank security
Chief of General Staff Lt.- Gen. Benny Gantz toured the West
Bank on Friday and held a number of security consultations with commanders in
Gantz visited the Kalandiya Crossing together with OC Central
Command Maj.-Gen. Avi Mizrachi and then traveled to the Gush Etzion
settlement bloc, stopping to meet soldiers deployed near Bethlehem.
is our job to control the situation and maintain quiet to enable the political
leadership to make decisions,” Gantz told soldiers during the tour.