Residents Protest Army's Retreat in Face of Arab Rioters

Jews of Kedumim, in Samaria, held a protest Tuesday morning against the army's alleged retreat when Arab rioters attacked.

Hillel Fendel ,

Residents of Kedumim in Samaria held a protest Tuesday morning against the alleged retreat by IDF forces when Arab rioters attacked.

The incident in question occurred this past Sabbath.  Dozens of Arabs threw rocks at Jews in the outpost of Shvut Ami, adjacent to Kedumim, throughout the morning prayer service and intermittently over the course of the day.  Army forces finally arrived around 6 PM, by which time some 150 Arabs had arrived, apparently attempting to enter and take over the Jewish neighborhood.  The Jews were not encouraged when the senior officer of the IDF force, the deputy regiment commander, was quoted as having saying, "I'm here to arrest Jews."

The Arabs continued to throw rocks, the soldiers fired in the air, and a Kedumim security team member was hit near the eye by a rock.  He was evacuated to a hospital for treatment, and was later reported to have narrowly escaped serious injury.

Within a short time, though the Arabs continued to attack, the army forces retreated. Shortly afterwards, when the Sabbath ended just after sundown, the soldiers returned, evicted the Jewish residents from Shvut Ami - for possibly the seventh time in a year - and declared the area a "closed military zone." 

The residents say they will return, as they have done after every past eviction.

Residents Protest Army Cowardice
At the demonstration Tuesday morning, dozens of residents rallied outside the local army base and demanded to know why the soldiers retreated, leaving the citizens unprotected and at risk of their lives.

"What has happened to our army?" asked Hila Mordechai, one of the organizers of the protest, through her megaphone.  "This is not the IDF we know, nor the IDF we strive for... We have come to remind you of your job... We stand here shocked and outraged, at your behavior in the face of Arab rock-throwing and cursing, and at the shameful commands issued to you by your commanders... "

Finally, the deputy commander arrived, but did not respond to the accusations.  One protestor called out through the megaphone: "We are all partners in the IDF. We send our husbands and sons to protect our homeland - and at the same time, officers like you abandon our children to Arab murderers!  Who will take responsibility for the next murder that will happen here?!"

Another protest is planned for this Friday.

An Arutz-7 query regarding the incident has been submitted to the IDF spokesman's office.