Baby girl injured during violent clashes in W. Bank

Demonstrators burn tires, throw stones at security forces; IDF uses new non-lethal sonic crowd dispersal weapon; injured man treated on scene.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
September 21, 2011 21:45
2 minute read.

Palestinian clashes West Bank_311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

 
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Clashes broke out between Palestinians and Israeli security forces in the West Bank on Wednesday amidst celebrations in support of the Palestinian Authority's UN statehood bid.

An Israeli baby girl was lightly injured when Palestinians threw rocks at the car she was riding in, Israel Radio reported. Her family was driving near the Migdalim settlement in the West Bank.

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A Magen David Adom ambulance rushed the girl to a hospital in Petah Tikva.

Earlier Wednesday, one Palestinian was lightly injured at a demonstration that turned violent at the Kalandia checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah, the IDF Spokesman's Office said.

The IDF, in order to disperse several dozen Palestinians who were burning tires and throwing stones at security forces, used "The Scream," a non-lethal sonic weapon that emits a deafening sound people cannot stand.

The injured Palestinian man was treated on the scene.



While mass demonstrations have been taking place throughout the West Bank this week, violent incidents like that which took place at Kalandiya were expected to be minimal and isolated.

Unlike a rally in Ramallah Wednesday that drew thousands to support Palestinian statehood in the United Nations, the Kalandiya protest came into direct contact with Israeli forces.

In an interview with The Jerusalem Post Tuesday, Home Front Defense Minister Matan Vilna'i said that PA security forces are prepared to contain demonstrations and prevent them from turning violent.

Nonetheless, he said, "the defense establishment is well prepared for all possible scenarios."

On Tuesday, ahead of the large demonstrations, IDF regional brigade commanders in the West Bank held talks with their Palestinian counterparts to coordinate operations aimed at containing the protests and preventing a violent escalation.

The IDF has also tightened its rules of engagement as part of an effort to minimize potential for an escalation due to tactical operations or mistakes. As reported on Tuesday in the Post, the IDF has reduced operations inside Palestinian cities and towns in territory defined as Area A, which is under full Palestinian control.

Such operations will be carried out only to prevent imminent terrorist attacks that are in motion, with the understanding that Israeli incursions into Area A embarrass PA security forces and undermine their authority in the eyes of the Palestinian people.

Yaakov Katz contributed to this report.

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