A violent face-off developed Thursday afternoon between IDF soldiers and Arabs in Hevron. In the wake of the face-off, a major Arab riot developed, with Arabs throwing stones and bricks at IDF soldiers. Israeli forces used anti-riot tactics to break up the fracas.
IDF officials said they considered the incident “serious,” and that an investigation had been opened.
Officials said that the level of Arab rioting in Judea and Samaria had climbed significantly since Operation Pillar of Defense ended, and that there were more reports of rock throwing and other terror incidents. Officials said that they had also been prepared for an increase in violence after last week's UN General Assembly vote raising the status of the PA in the world body.
Many of the rioters are new Hamas sympathizers, the officials said, who have become supporters of the terror group in the wake of Operation Pillar of Defense.
IDF Central Command head Nitzan Alon said earlier this week that the IDF was planning a major exercise to deal with the increase in rioting and terror attacks. “We are naturally more attentive to the situation when incidents increase,” he said. There have been “many incidents since Operation Pillar of Defense, and we expect them to continue,” he added.
A Shabak source said that a number of terrorist who were released last year in the Gilad Shalit deal are working to set up terror cells in Judea and Samaria. The Shabak vowed to increase its vigilance to prevent those cells from coming to life.