The heightened tensions between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the wake of the PA’s UN status upgrade are having effect on the ground.
A Palestinian officer on Thursday assaulted an IDF soldier who was on a routine patrol in Hebron following clashes that erupted after the soldiers tried to arrest a suspect in the city.
Following the clashes, dozens of Palestinians started hurling stones at the soldiers who were forced to escape the scene while hurling shock grenades. There were no injuries.
The unusual incident occurred while an IDF force was on a foot patrol in Hebron’s market area. The soldiers tried to arrest a man connected to the Palestinian police and soon an argument between the officers and the troops broke out, later turning physical.
The army said that during the clashes one of the Palestinian officers punched a Nahal combatant, who did not require medical care.
Palestinians who witnessed the event started hurling stones at the soldiers and as their numbers grew the troops were left with no other choice but to flee the scene while calling for backup. The forces hurled a shock grenade to create a buffer zone between them and the Palestinian officers, the IDF said.
Other forces called to the scene were also assaulted by Palestinians who gathered in the area. Meanwhile, a riot involving Palestinian officers broke out at another location in the city.
Army officials said the IDF views with great severity the Palestinian officers’ involvement and added that the incident will be investigated.
The clashes come a week after the UN’s General Assembly voted to upgrade the Palestinian Authority’s status to non-member observer state.
Israel in response announced a decision to advance the construction of 3,000 housing units in area E1 connecting Jerusalem and the West Bank. This could disrupt the contiguity of a future Palestinian state. It was also decided to freeze the transfer of Palestinian tax money.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas expressed his outrage over the plan saying that the continuation of settlement construction, particularly in area E1, was a “red line.” “This cannot happen,” he told reporters in Ramallah hours after Civil Administration decided to advance the plan.
Source: Ynet News