70 hiking Israelis enter Palestinian village, get pelted with rocks
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70 hiking Israelis enter Palestinian village, get pelted with rocks

IDF uses tear gas on attackers, rescues hikers; no injuries reported; tour group reportedly asked for army’s OK for trip, were denied, and went anyway

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

Illustrative: Palestinian protesters throw rocks at Israeli soldiers in the West Bank village of Kobar, while an army bulldozer closes the main road to the area during an operation to prepare the home of a terrorist for demolition on July 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)
Illustrative: Palestinian protesters throw rocks at Israeli soldiers in the West Bank village of Kobar, while an army bulldozer closes the main road to the area during an operation to prepare the home of a terrorist for demolition on July 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

A group of approximately 70 Israelis hiked into a small Palestinian village in the central West Bank on Friday and quickly found themselves pelted with rocks by local residents, the army said.

According to Channel 10 news, some of the hikers fired shots into the air with their handguns, before IDF troops arrived on the scene. This could not be immediately confirmed by the military.

Once the soldiers arrived, they drove back the rock throwers with tear gas and other non-lethal dispersal measures, and brought the hikers out of the area.

There were no reports of injuries among the Israelis or Palestinians.

Palestinian media reported that one person from the nearby village of Kobar was arrested in connection with the incident.

The hikers came from the Halamish settlement, where last month a Palestinian terrorist stabbed to death three members of the Salomon family.

The incident took place in Jibya, a small village on the outskirts of the village of Kobar, the hometown of the Palestinian terrorist.

An IDF spokesperson said there was no connection between the terror attack and Friday’s events.

The trip was organized by a group called Midreshet Harei Gofna, a company that arranges hiking tours of the Binyamin region of the West Bank and the surrounding area.

The group had requested permission from the army to hike in the area, but was denied.

The hike was thus conducted without coordination with the army, the military said in a statement.

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