Arab rioters
Arab rioters Israel news photo: Flash 90

A top IDF officer said Tuesday that, despite appearances to the contrary, IDF soldiers did not “run away” when they faced off against Arab rioters in the village of Kadum several weeks ago, nor in an incident this week in which Arab rioters threw stones at soldiers near the town of Neve Tzuf.

Both incidents were recorded on video and released to Youtube. In the Kadum video, IDF soldiers are seen running from an Arab mob that appears to be pursuing them with rocks, bricks, and sticks, and taking cover, without firing their weapons at the advancing mob. In the Neve Tzuf video, Arab rioters pelt a convoy of IDF jeeps with stones. The drivers are seen speeding up, apparently to escape the attack.

But looks can be deceiving, a top IDF official said Tuesday. “IDF soldiers did not run away or try to escape in either incident. Our investigation into the incidents so far shows that soldiers acted appropriately. In the Kadum incident, the role of the soldiers was to restrict the riot and prevent it from spilling onto a main thoroughfare, and in this task they succeeded. The soldiers properly used their judgement in deciding how much force to use. The soldiers were on their way out of the village when the rock throwing started. They did not run away,” he said.

As far as Neve Tzuf was concerned, the official said that here, too, the IDF had seen much success. “Once there were over 400 people at the protests at this site, but today there are only a few dozen,” the official said.

Regarding the Kadum video, in which the soldiers appear to be running away, another IDF official said that the video had been edited to fit the agenda of the people who filmed it.

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