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Monday, August 27, 2007

Shark doesn't bite man: IDF officer saved by PA officers

Palestinian police prevented the lynching of an incompetent Israeli army major. While it doesn't say much for the IDF that an officer could not tell the difference between Jenin and a settlement, this is still a glimpse of the possibility of better things. In the best of all possible worlds, of course, Israelis and Palestinians could walk around each others' cities without arousing any problems. We are a long way from that.
Ami Isseroff

PA police save IDF officer from lynch mob in Jenin

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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