An IDF Major was rescued this afternoon (Monday) by PA police from a crazed Arab mob when he mistakenly entered the city of Jenin, in northern Shomron. Arab residents who first saw him and realized he was Israeli threw rocks at him, forced him out of his car and began beating him.
A Palestinian Authority policeman called for help, and PA forces rescued the Israeli. He was transferred safely to the Jalameh checkpoint north of Jenin, where the IDF received him.
The PA's Maan news agency reported that the officer entered the city from the west, driving a white Citroen tender - an IDF vehicle - and wearing an IDF uniform. He was first accosted by two PA policemen, who told him to get out of his car and accompany them to the city's police station. Shortly afterwards, residents burnt the car; its remains were later turned over to the IDF.
The Al-Quds Brigades of the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization condemned the PA for thwarting the attempt to "kidnap" the Israeli. The Jihadists also accused the PA of allowing four Israeli jeeps to enter the Jenin police headquarters and rescue the officer. "The security forces should be protecting the resistance fighters and the Palestinian nation from the guns of occupation," the Islamic Jihad statement read, "and not protecting the soldiers of the occupation."
Seven Years Ago, Six Weeks Ago
The near-lynch was reminiscent of a tragic event that occurred nearly seven years ago, when two reserves soldiers were brutally lynched after making a wrong turn into Ramallah and being taken to the local police station. The two, Yosef Avrahami and Vadim Norzitch, were among the first victims of the Oslo War, launched by the Palestinian Authority in September 2000.
Just six weeks ago, too, Arabs in the PA-controlled city of Shechem, south of Jenin, happened upon two Israeli soldiers who mistakenly entered the Balata slums - and immediately began shooting at them. The driver made a quick U-turn, but several armed Arabs quickly took off in pursuit, shooting at them all the while with their Kalachnikov rifles. Seven bullets hit the IDF Toyota, and within seconds, the tires had been shot out and the Israelis found themselves driving on tire rims alone. The chase continued nearly up to the Hawara checkpoint, and only there did the officer and his driver manage to escape. The officer in the car was given some army prison time for his negligence.