A video uploaded to Youtube by an Arab photographer shows a crowd of youths from the Jilazoun neighborhood near Beit El, throwing rocks at IDF soldiers and approaching them until they are just a few feet away.
The soldiers show extreme restraint until the moment when their commander apparently feels that their lives are in danger, and gives the OK to open fire. It is likely that the soldiers fired rubber-coated bullets, however, and that they may have been fired in the air in warning, rather than being aimed at the bodies of the rioters.
The incident joins a slew of increasingly daring attacks on Israeli security forces, and a pattern that repeats itself in all of them is the Israelis' reluctance to open fire. This reluctance stems from fear of an ultraleftist legal system and media, which routinely combine forces to punish IDF officers and soldiers for almost any use of force.
In another recent incident that also occurred near Beit El, a group of young Arab terrorists can be seen as it awaits an Israeli motorized patrol, and attacks it with firebombs. which advances in a convoy of vehicles fitted with protective gear. A week earlier at nearby Anata, a firebomb was thrown at a jeep in an attempt to set it on fire, while cinderblocks were also hurled. Containers with paint were thrown at the windshields of the vehicles to try and block the drivers' field of vision.
Both of these ambushes were taped on video as part of the propaganda war against the IDF.
A report by a political activist and reservist combat soldier recently claimed that the IDF has effectively capitulated in the face of Arab rock and firebomb attacks.
Writing in the web magazine Mida, Erez Tadmor said that he spoke with dozens of officers and soldiers who all said the same thing: The health and security of Jews who live in Judea and Samaria, as well as those of the soldiers who are supposed to guard them, have been left to the mercy of the enemy.