PA cops rescue IDF soldier who mistakenly entered West Bank village
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PA cops rescue IDF soldier who mistakenly entered West Bank village

Serviceman lightly wounded after Palestinians pelted his truck with stones, as he drove into Sa'ir, north of Hebron

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

Illustration. Palestinian protesters throw stones at an Israeli military car during a rally at the Qalandiya checkpoint, north of Jerusalem, on March 30, 2013. (Issam Rimawi/Flash90)
Illustration. Palestinian protesters throw stones at an Israeli military car during a rally at the Qalandiya checkpoint, north of Jerusalem, on March 30, 2013. (Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

Palestinian security forces rescued an IDF soldier after he accidentally drove into a West Bank village, and residents pelted his truck with rocks, lightly wounding him, the army said.

It was not immediately clear what caused the soldier to accidentally enter the village of Sa’ir, north of Hebron. But once inside, he was surrounded by local residents, who threw stones at his vehicle.

Members of the Palestinian Authority’s security services got the soldier to safety and handed him over to the IDF “in collaboration with the Civil Administration,” the army said.

The soldier was taken to the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem for medical care, the hospital said.

In the past, such incidents occurred due to troops relying on smartphone navigation apps.

Last Tuesday, 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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