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Rioting Arabs Wounded by IDF Fire

IDF soldiers open fire at rioting Arabs near Beit El, failing to break up a protest with tear gas.
By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 5/17/2013, 11:31 PM

Arab rock throwers / archive
Arab rock throwers / archive
Israel news photo: Flash 90

IDF soldiers opened fire at rioting Palestinian Authority Arabs on Friday, after they failed to break up a protest in which rocks had been thrown at them.

The incident took place at Jelazoun, near the Binyamin region town of Beit El. Kol Yisrael radio reported that five Arabs were wounded, while PA security officials told AFP that nine Arabs were hurt.

The officials told the news agency that the Arabs were throwing rocks at Israelis near Beit El and came under fire from soldiers sent to disperse them.

They said that six of the injured were sent home after receiving first aid at a PA-based hospital and three were kept in hospital, although none of them was in life-threatening condition. All were hit in the legs, according to AFP.

An IDF spokeswoman told AFP that the troops opened fire with 0.22 ammunition after tear gas and rubber bullets failed to disperse the crowd of about 50 people engaged in "a violent disturbance."

A security official told Kol Yisrael radio that by opening fire, the soldiers were adhering to IDF procedures, since they had been unsuccessful at dispersing the riot using other means.

On Thursday, residents of Beit El demonstrated against the continued rock terrorism by Arabs from the adjacent village.

Last week, a woman from the community was injured when an Arab boy stood near the perimeter fence and threw rocks into the community.

The resident called on IDF commanders to "wake up," and "to calm down the Arabs in the adjacent villages immediately."

A protest against the security situation by residents of Neria two weeks ago ended up with the beating of two Jews, one of whom is Yosef Yitzhak Kovalkin of Neria. He was beaten by a mob, as was Aharon Zlatkin, 53.

Judea and Samaria Division Commander, Brig. Gen. Tamir Yadai, toured Beit El this week, following recent rock-throwing incidents.

Yadai met with a girl who was wounded in one of the attacks, and spoke with her and members of the family. He said that the IDF would "refresh its instructions" to soldiers in an effort to put an end to the phenomenon.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)