Israeli escorted out by PA police after entering West Bank village
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Israeli escorted out by PA police after entering West Bank village

Civilian drives into area near Birzeit using navigation app; Palestinian security forces lead him to Israeli checkpoint

Illustrative: Palestinian police in the West Bank (Issam Rimawi/Flash90)
Illustrative: Palestinian police in the West Bank (Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

An Israeli citizen was escorted out of a Palestinian village in the West Bank after entering the area using a navigation app.

The man drove into the village of Abu Qash, near Ramallah, and was intercepted by Palestinian Authority police officers who led him back to the nearby Israeli checkpoint.

There were no reports of injuries in the incident.

A number of civilians and soldiers have driven into Palestinian areas in recent years as drivers increasingly rely on smartphone navigation apps to get them to their destinations, with some of them encountering violence.

In March, an IDF soldier accidentally drove into the village of Sa’ir, north of Hebron, with residents surrounding his vehicle and pelting it with rocks, before he was rescued by Palestinian security forces. The soldier was lightly injured in the incident

Earlier that same month, another IDF soldier was lightly wounded when rocks were thrown at his truck, after he and another serviceman mistakenly drove into the Palestinian village of Beit Fajjar in the southern West Bank.

In that case, the pair were able to exit the Palestinian village without assistance, meeting up with additional troops nearby.

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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