IDF inquiry: Soldiers 'did not flee' during riot

A senior army source says the soldiers succeed in preventing rioters from reaching Kedumim, but not in making arrests.

Soldiers defending themselves from rioters 370 (photo credit: YouTube screenshot)
Soldiers defending themselves from rioters 370
(photo credit: YouTube screenshot)
IDF soldiers did not run away during a confrontation with Palestinian rioters who were trying to attack the settlement of Kedumim in Samaria last Friday, an internal inquiry has found.
The security force showed initiative, and succeeded in their main task, to prevent rioters from reaching the settlement, but did not succeed in their secondary task of making arrests, despite trying to do so, a senior army source said Thursday. The IDF took a forgiving view of operational mistakes made while seizing the initiative, he added.
Army sources said a Palestinian video of the confrontation, uploaded to YouTube, was edited and scenes were cut out to give the impression of soldiers running away. In fact, the sources said, the video contained images from three separate stages of the disturbances.
A small group of IDF soldiers had been pursing rioters with the intention of arresting them, but did not succeed in catching them, according to the inquiry.
Two soldiers left a larger force that was situated on a hill overlooking the riot, and ran towards the mob to make arrests. The larger force, made up of Engineering Corps soldiers and Border Police, had been deployed to deal with weekly disturbances in the area.
“A sergeant who tried to make arrests didn’t succeed. He tried again, unsuccessfully, and decided to disengage,” a senior army source said.
The inquiry found that the soldiers had acted correctly throughout the incident, and that they did not run away.
The sergeant’s decision to disengage was correct, the inquiry found.
At no point did the soldiers feel that their lives were in danger, and did not seek permission to use live fire, a source added, countering charges made in recent days that soldiers facing West Bank riots were failing to take assertive action due to fear of prosecution.