IDF investigating W. Bank rock-throwing incidents

In two separate incidents, army units in West Bank coming under attack by large Palestinian mobs, retreat from areas.

December 10, 2012 23:57
1 minute read.
IDF troops disperse Palestinians in Hebron [file]

IDF Soldiers disperse Palestinian rioters in Hebron 390. (photo credit: Reuters)


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The IDF is investigating two separate incidents over the weekend involving army units in the West Bank coming under attack by large Palestinian mobs and retreating from the area.

Palestinians have made videos of both incidents, one from Hebron and one from Kfar Kaddum, available.

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An IDF spokeswoman said the filmed incidents were under investigation by senior commanders in the field. “The IDF will continue to protect the residents of the State of Israel,” she added.

Central Command officers have identified a sharp rise in the number of violent disturbances in the West Bank in recent weeks, resulting in a call to forces to increase awareness at all levels.

Soldiers have complained that rules of engagement, which call for restraint but allow shots to be fired in case of an immediate threat to life, are too foggy to be applied clearly.

In the Kfar Kaddum incident, which occurred on Friday, soldiers can be seen attempting to shield themselves from a large rock-throwing crowd, before fleeing the scene.

In Hebron, a riot broke out on Thursday when a Palestinian mob joined Palestinian police in confronting IDF soldiers on routine patrol in the area, military sources said.

The PA police and the soldiers became involved in mutual pushing, and one of the Palestinian officers threw a punch, military sources said.

Soldiers used stun grenades to distance the PA officers. At that stage, a 250-strong crowd rapidly formed and began rioting and throwing rocks, before being dispersed by the small IDF unit, which then left the area, the IDF added.

Last week, OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Nitzan Alon held a surprise drill for the Binyamin Regional Brigade in the West Bank, in which Artillery Corps soldiers from the Reshef Battalion had to deal with rioting, as well as the scenario of “gunmen” planted within mobs and firing on soldiers.

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