Near Lynch

An IDF officer today mistakenly entered a palestinian town, and almost got lynched for his troubles.

Luckily for him (and unlike in the case of the October 2000 events in Ramallah), palestinian policemen helped save him from the lynch mob, rather than joining it.

An IDF officer was rescued Monday afternoon by Palestinian Authority police officers after he mistakenly entered Jenin.

The officer, a major serving in the army’s Central Command, was on his way to the Mevo Dotan settlement in the northern West Bank but accidentally drove into Jenin, located seven miles northeast of the settlement.

Local Palestinian residents who noticed the officer driving into the city hurled rocks at his car, forced him out and began beating him.

A Palestinian policeman spotted the angry mob and called for backup. The security officers struggled to reach the battered officer and several shots were apparently fired before they managed to extract him from the crowd moments before his vehicle was set aflame.

The officer was then taken to the Jenin Muqataa compound to contact the IDF and afterwards to the Jalame security crossing north of Jenin and into Israel.

The officer was not in need of medical attention and was later taken for questioning. He said was driving without a firearm but the matter is being investigated as the Palestinian police said they confiscated the major’s weapon.

Needless to say, palestinians were furious they did not get a chance to murder the officer.

Shortly after the incident the Islamic Jihad angrily accused the PA Preventive Security forces of thwarting an attempt by the organization to kidnap the officer in the heart of Jenin.

“After taking control of the officer our fighters were surprised to see the Preventive Security closing in on them and taking the uniformed soldier. Within minutes four Israeli military jeeps arrived and the Israelis were given the officer by the Preventive Security.

“The Palestinian security forces must defend our fighters and the Palestinian people from the weapons of the occupation, not defend the soldiers of the occupation from the weapons of the resistance,” said the group in a statement issued later in the afternoon.

And while the palestinian police deserve credit for saving the officer, don’t be under illusions as to why they did it.

“The soldier erred and when the Palestinian Authority officials noticed this they did their duty, picked him up and transferred him to the District Coordination and Liaison office,” said Salah Basur, deputy commander of the Preventive Security forces in Jenin.

He rejected the claims of Islamic Jihad and said the officers acted in the best interest of the Palestinian people.

Not because it was the moral thing to do. And if the “best interests of the palestinian people” dictated that the IDF officer be taught a lesson for entering Jenin, you can bet we would have had a repeat of October 2000.

Update: You have to love this. Ma’an news reports why the mob burned the Israel officer’s car – and it has nothing to do with the fact they wanted to murder him.

One of the enraged citizens said that the arson attack was a display of anger for the assassination of two Palestinians and the injury of four others by the Israeli forces in Jenin two days ago.

Update: Even the kiddies got involved in the near lynching car abuse.


A Palestinian boy jumps atop of a burnt vehicle in the West Bank city of Jenin, August 27, 2007. An Israeli soldier who took a wrong turn into Jenin on Monday was returned unharmed by Palestinian security forces loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas in a new sign of cooperation with Israel. A crowd in the city overturned and torched the soldier’s abandoned car. (Mohamad Torokman/Reuters)


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

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