A major in the IDF's central command narrowly escaped lynching Monday after he accidentally entered the Palestinian town of Jenin, in northern Samaria.
The major, a staff officer in OC Central Command's headquarters, was traveling from Shavei Shomron to Mevo Dotan. The two West Bank settlements are linked by a road which has not been used by Israelis since the breakout of Palestinian-Israeli violence in October 2000.
Due to a navigational error, the officer lost his way and ended up in Jenin, a hostile Palestinian town. Although the officer was driving a car with yellow [civilian] license plate, a mob recognized him by his uniform and began pelting his car with stones.
Shortly after the disturbance began, Palestinian Authority police arrived on the scene. Although the officer was lightly wounded during the rescue, he was potentially saved from more serious injuries as his car was set on fire moments after he was evacuated to a nearby PA police headquarters.
During an IDF investigation which followed, the major said that he was unarmed, contradicting a Palestinian claim that he was carrying a handgun.
"We prevented a serious disaster," said Akid (Colonel) Suleiman Amran, chief of the Jenin District in the PA police.
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