Daily Israel Report

Attorney Blocks Armed PA Police Convoy of 'Terrorists'

Attorney Ben-Gvir stops armed PA police breaching law by traveling in Area C on main Hevron-Jerusalem route, calls up IDF.
By Niv Har-Zahav, Ari Yashar
First Publish: 3/21/2014, 9:14 AM

Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir (file)
Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir (file)
Flash 90

A rare incident occurred Thursday, as an armed Palestinian Authority (PA) police convoy driving on Route 60, the main road connecting Hevron and Jerusalem, was stopped in its tracks by Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir.

Ben-Gvir blocked the convoy with his car, having realized that it was in Area C, under full Israeli control. Ordering the PA police to stop, the attorney called up IDF soldiers standing nearby to help him, alerting them that convoy was illegally breaching treaties.

According to the 1993 Oslo Accords, PA police are required to be under IDF escort if they travel in Area C, given that the Accords let them carry weapons for policing Arab towns, but not Area C.

The PA police, brought to a standstill in their eight car convoy, were stunned. While several grumbled to the police that Ben-Gvir was a "right-wing extremist," the soldiers asked them to stay in their cars at the side of the road as they investigated the complaint.

A half hour later, an order was received from the Gush Etzion Territorial Brigade to let the PA police go.

"The management of the army, in contrast to the soldiers on the ground who were shocked by the sight of the armed terrorists, is not clear to me," remarked Ben-Gvir.

In 2011, PA policemen opened fire at Israeli Jews who had been praying at Joseph's Tomb in Shechem, killing one.

Ben-Gvir commented "this was a band of terrorists travelling on a route filled with Jewish cars; hundreds of children, women and infants drive every morning on that route. Unfortunately some rank of the IDF decided to let the terrorists go, despite it being clear they traveled without permission against the law, endangering the lives of Israelis."

"We are fighting for our lives"

The attorney said he decided to block the cars filled with armed men "because I had no choice. We are fighting here for our lives, and if I was indifferent to what happened, it means I would have condoned lawlessness."

Calling on other residents of Judea and Samaria to similarly stop PA police abuses of the law, Ben-Gvir added "we must not condone such a dangerous phenomenon as these terrorists driving on our central traffic arteries."

"Today they drove armed, tomorrow they might initiate an attack," warned the attorney. "It's a scandal that someone got involved in their favor, and instead of sending them all into detention, they were let go."

Ben-Gvir noted "it really interests me to know who in the Etzion Territorial Brigade ordered their release. Already yesterday afternoon (Thursday) I submitted a complaint to the IDF to check this mismanagement."