Police commissioner: Violence of Peki'in townspeople 'unthinkable'

In the wake of Tuesday's clashes between police and residents of Peki'in, Police Commissioner Dudi Cohen arrived in the afternoon hours at a Nahariya hospital where policemen injured in the riots were being treated. Cohen spoke with the wounded men and said their testimonies told of unrestrained violence by the townspeople. Cohen spoke of an escalation in violence by rioters, who he said had used gas and shock grenades, batons, rocks and bricks. The most severe aspect of the riot, he said, was the kidnapping of a policewoman, who Cohen said was "taken by masked men and dragged into an alleyway, where she was held for four hours." "It is unthinkable for an Israel Police force to arrive somewhere in Israel and leave with 40 wounded men," Cohen said. In response to questions regarding the use of live ammunition against the rioters, Cohen said: "The protocol is clear; live ammunition must not be used unless policemen's lives are endangered. When such a danger arose, what happened happened," Cohen said, and cited the kidnapped policewoman as a case that could justify such action.