IDF commanders are investigating a "serious operational failure" that occurred Thursday morning when a soldier was left behind after an operation near Ramallah.
Army Radio reported that an IDF mechanized infantry unit entered the village of Budrus near Ramallah to conduct operations that included searches.
According to the report, shortly after the operation ended and the unit departed, a lone soldier was left standing at the gate of the village.
Some of the local Arabs say they feared the soldier would be lynched and aided him in reaching an area under IDF control where another unit picked him up and returned him to the base.
An IDF spokesperson said the incident is being taken very seriously, especially since the soldier reported the battalion commander did not conduct a head-count or radio that the unit was departing.
The army is also trying to establish how the soldier lost contact with the main body of his unit and had to rely on local Arabs to escape harm.
In October 2000, two IDF reservists who took a wrong turn and entered Ramallah were lynched in a PA police station while crowds cheered.