A vehicle carrying Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah was stopped at the IDF’s Zatara checkpoint near Nablus Tuesday evening, hours after Israeli police in the West Bank pulled him over for speeding, Army Radio reported
In Tuesday morning’s incident, Hamadallah was released after several minutes, but not before he reportedly verbally abused the police officers and then demanded, and received, an apology from Israeli security forces for detaining him.
The earlier incident occurred along Route 60 near Beit El, north of Ramallah, in a West Bank area controlled by Israel, when the car carrying Hamdallah and his entourage was stopped by Israeli police for driving at 145 kph (90 mph) in an 80 kph (50 mph) zone.
Once the officers realized who they had detained, they told him he could continue, but Hamdallah, who reportedly called one of the officers a “dog” who was on “occupied land,” refused to do so until he received an apology, according to sources cited by the Ynet news outlet.
Hamdallah told the Palestinian Ma’an news agency that he was stopped at a checkpoint by a group of officers escorting settlers, who planned to attack him.
The delay attracted the attention of a crowd of local residents and nearby IDF forces, blocking traffic. A police officer eventually apologized to Hamdallah for the incident and the official continued his journey.
A similar incident occurred in December, after a car carrying former PA prime minister Ahmed Qureia was held for two hours after being stopped for speeding near Ma’ale Adumim, leading to a mini-diplomatic crisis that was resolved after the IDF stepped in and ordered Qureia to be released.