The IDF said on Tuesday morning that four Israelis who claimed on Monday night that they were attacked by Palestinian stone-throwers when they illegally entered Kif el-Hares to pray at Joshua's grave, were merely involved in a car accident. The IDF stated that the four were hoping to evade responsibility by claiming that the incident was a nationalistic attack.
After the incident, three of the passengers fled to the Ariel junction, where they were picked up by rescue forces.
One man was seriously injured in the car crash, and was airlifted to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva. Two others were lightly hurt.
The IDF conducted a search for the fourth man, fearing that he had been stranded in village, but ultimately managed to contact him and learned that he had escaped unscathed.
According to their statement, as they were leaving the site in their car, the four drove by a local wedding party and were attacked by villagers who hurled rocks at them, causing the driver to lose control and crash into a concrete wall.
Israel Radio reported that there were no markings on the car, casting doubt on the passengers' claims that they were attacked.
A defense official fumed at the four for failing to coordinate a trip to the site with the army, saying, "Entering the village was irresponsible and posed a tangible danger to human life."