IDF, border police quell riot at Beitunya

Dozens of Palestinians rioted in the early hours of Tuesday following the release of security prisoners from nearby Ofer Prison.

January 1, 2014 01:03
A Palestinian argues with Israeli soldiers in Hebron on September 23, 2013.

idf soldier and palestinian argue 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Dozens of Palestinians rioted at the Beitunya crossing outside Ramallah in the early hours of Tuesday following the release of security prisoners from the nearby Ofer Prison.

The IDF said the disturbance began soon after the ex-prisoners made their way into the Palestinian Authority. Soldiers from the Reshef Battalion of the Artillery Corps together with border police dispersed the rioters using non-lethal crowd control methods, the army added.

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Capt. Noam Sobel, deputy commander of the Reshef Battalion, said the rioters arrived with rocks, and began throwing them at Border Police officers who were securing the crossing minutes after the prisoners entered PA -controlled territory.

In earlier releases of prisoners, up to 200 Palestinians took part in protests in the area, and the IDF views the latest incident as being relatively minor in scale.

“The history of this sector has known riots with hundreds of participants,” Sobel said, adding that past incidents have led to injuries and deaths. “We’re trying to prevent these incidents, and chose to take up positions that are a little more distant because of that. But had they tried to advance toward us and attack us, we would have stopped it.”

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