Two IDF soldiers managed to escape a near-lynch by Palestinians after mistakenly entering the Qalandiya refugee camp.
By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News
Two IDF soldiers of the Oketz K-9 unit who erroneously entered the Qalnadiya Palestinian refugee camp Monday night were attacked by a violent Palestinian mob, but managed to escape unharmed.
An initial investigation indicates that the soldiers were navigating using Waze, and therefore ended up in the dangerous location, situated just north of Jerusalem.
They were spotted by the Palestinians, who attacked them and threw rocks and fire-bombs at their vehicle.
The two abandoned the car and split up, and in the meantime, the mob set their jeep on fire.
One soldier hid in a nearby courtyard and alerted Israeli forces who came and rescued him shortly after. The second soldier managed to escape on foot to the Jewish community of Kochav Ya’acov, in the vicinity of Qalandiya. Both were unharmed.
Massive Israeli forces, including Special Forces, were alerted and surrounded the town and a helicopter was heard hovering above, as the soldiers were initially feared to have been abducted.
A violent confrontation ensued during which Palestinian fired at the IDF forces and detonated explosive devices.
An Israeli policeman was moderately wounded in the exchange of fire, and nine others sustained light injuries. All were taken to the Hadassa University Medical Center on Jerusalem’s Mount Scopus for treatment.
One Palestinian was reportedly killed in the confrontation, and several others were wounded.
The IDF has announced it has launched an investigation into the incident, including on the circumstances of how the soldiers managed to get through IDF checkpoints on their way to the town.
Member of Knesset Avi Dichter, Former head of the Shin Bet, said the incident could have deteriorated into a much broader violent incident.
“The incident is very severe form any aspect. The potential of last night’s incident, beyond the horrible lynch of two of our soldiers, was that things could have deteriorated into a full intifada [all-encompassing violent Palestinian uprising],” he said while speaking to IDF Radio.
Recurring Site of Violent Clashes
Qalandiya has been the site of several violent confrontations between Israeli security forces and Palestinian riotous mobs and terrorists.
In December, three IDF soldiers were wounded during a Palestinian terror attack while conducting a counter-terror operation in the town.
Israeli forces were searching for weapons and operating to arrest terror suspects when they were attacked in two separate incidents by Palestinian terrorists who attempted to run them down with their vehicles.
IDF forces also encountered violent resistance in November while operating in Qalandia to demolish a home of a terrorist. Terrorists opened fire on the soldiers, who responded with gunfire, killing two terrorists. There were no Israeli casualties in this incident.