IDF soldier lightly hurt after accidentally entering Palestinian town
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IDF soldier lightly hurt after accidentally entering Palestinian town

Two servicemen drive into Beit Fajjar, near Bethlehem, and come under attack from rock-throwing residents

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Illustrative photo of an Israeli army jeep in Hebron, November 7, 2013 (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of an Israeli army jeep in Hebron, November 7, 2013 (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

An IDF soldier was lightly wounded when rocks were thrown at his truck on Tuesday, after he and another serviceman mistakenly drove into a Palestinian village in the southern West Bank, the army said.

The army did not say how the two soldiers accidentally entered Beit Fajjar, a village south of Bethlehem. In the past, however, such incidents occurred due to troops relying on smartphone navigation apps.

When the soldiers drove into the village, residents began throwing rocks at their vehicle, an army spokesperson said.

One of the soldiers was lightly injured in the attack on their truck, while the other made it out unscathed.

Soon after, the pair turned around and exited the Palestinian village, meeting up with additional troops nearby.

The injured soldier was taken to receive medical treatment, the army said, though it was not immediately clear if he required hospitalization.

A similar incident occurred in November 2016. Then too a soldier was lightly injured after he accidentally entered a Palestinian village. Though in that case, it was Anabta, a town east of Tulkarem.

Police in Tulkarem rescuing two unarmed, female Israeli soldiers who had mistakenly drove into the West Bank town using a navigation application. September 13, 2016, (Channel 2 Screenshot)
Police in Tulkarem rescuing two unarmed, female Israeli soldiers who had mistakenly drove into the West Bank town using a navigation application on September 13, 2016, (Channel 2 Screenshot)

And in September 2016, two female soldiers entered Tulkarem and sustained mild injuries from rocks thrown at them before they were rescued by local Palestinian police and Defense Ministry officials. An initial probe of that incident revealed that not only had the two soldiers relied on a navigation app, but they had entered Tulkarem unarmed.

In a more serious incident, in February 2016, one Palestinian was killed and several injured in clashes in the Qalandiya refugee camp near Jerusalem sparked by an attempt to rescue lost soldiers.

Each time, the IDF repeats the importance of not relying solely on traffic navigation apps such as Waze.

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