An IDF soldier stands next to an armored vehicle in Kibbutz Nahal Oz, near the Gaza Strip border, Israel November 12, 2018.
(photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)
The Palestinian Authority police commander of Hebron, Col. Ahmed Abu al-Rub, has been suspended for allegedly helping IDF soldiers fix a flat tire of an army vehicle.
PA Police Chief Hazem Atallah ordered the suspension of Abu al-Rub after pictures appeared on social media showing him kneeling down to inspect an IDF vehicle near Hebron. It was unclear from the pictures whether the police commander fixed the flat tire.
Palestinians claimed the images were taken near Yatta, a city of 65,000 located 8 km. south of Hebron, and that the police commander was repairing the tire of the IDF vehicle. Atallah also decided to launch an investigation against the police commander.
PA police spokesman Loay Zriekat confirmed that Abu al-Rub had been suspended pending an investigation. He said Abu al-Rub has been temporarily replaced by his deputy.
The pictures sparked a wave of criticism
on social media, where many Palestinians mocked Abu al-Rub for “volunteering” to fix the tire of the IDF vehicle.
Hamas and other Gaza-based Palestinian terrorist groups ridiculed the Hebron police commander, and said the photographs were humiliating for all Palestinians.
Hamas leader Musa Abu Marzouk commented on the pictures saying that the PA police commander has become a tire repairman for Israel.
Palestinian sources told The Jerusalem Post
that Abu al-Rub was on a tour near Hebron together with senior Fatah official Kamal Makhamareh. The two had been asked to accompany a delegation of senior PA officials, the sources said.
On their way back, the delegation, which was driving in a convoy of 40 vehicles, stopped because an IDF vehicle was parked in the middle of the road, the sources added.
They said that Abu al-Rub and Makhamreh got out of their car to check with the IDF soldiers why their vehicle was blocking traffic.
“The soldiers explained that the vehicle had a mechanical problem,” the sources said. “At one stage, Abu al-Rub knelt down to check the problem with the [IDF] vehicle. He did not fix the tire of the vehicle. He only wanted to help so that the convoy of the Palestinian officials would be able to pass.”
Several Palestinians in Hebron on Thursday appealed to PA President Mahmoud Abbas to rescind the decision to suspend Abu al-Rub.
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