Two German tourists attacked by Palestinians after entering Nablus with Israeli car
Locals in West Bank city hurl stones at ride-sharing vehicle from Tel Aviv, assault motorists who manage to escape by foot; army medics treat them for ‘superficial injuries’
Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.
Two German tourists who entered the northern West Bank city of Nablus in an Israeli ride-sharing vehicle on Saturday were violently attacked by Palestinians, footage published by Palestinian media outlets showed.
In video clips from Nablus, a group of Palestinians could be seen surrounding the rented car, which has Israeli license plates, a sticker of an Israeli flag and the logo of the Tel Aviv municipality — which has a deal with the ride-sharing company, Shlomo Sixt.
The footage showed Palestinians hurling stones at the car, attempting to open the doors and attacking the motorists.
The two tourists eventually managed to escape on foot. According to Channel 12 news, they were aided by an Arab Israeli on their way out.
“We just wanted to drink coffee,” the tourists were quoted as saying.
A military source said army medics were treating the pair outside of Nablus after they suffered minor “superficial injuries.”
شبان يحطمون مركبة تحمل لوحات تسجيل "إسرائيلية" وسط #نابلس بعد الاشتباه بوجود مستوطنين بداخلها ووجود أعلام للاحتلال داخل المركبة. pic.twitter.com/N8dJVzwroJ
— وكالة شهاب للأنباء (@ShehabAgency) March 18, 2023
The damaged ride-sharing car remained in the West Bank city.
????️???? شاهد | شبان يحطمون مركبة تحمل لوحات تسجيل اسرائيلية وسط مدينة نابلس بعد الاشتباه بها، حيث كانت ترفع علم الاحتلال.! pic.twitter.com/3ez3ff9kUA
— أحرار برس (@PsAhrar) March 18, 2023
“A mob attacking tourists because they don‘t like their license plate is disgusting and cowardly,” German Ambassador to Israel Steffen Seibert tweeted later Saturday. “I thank the Palestinian Israeli citizen who saved them from the bottom of my heart.”
The incident came as tensions were high in the West Bank.
For the past year, the IDF has been conducting near-nightly raids in the West Bank amid a series of deadly Palestinian terror attacks. Those tensions have ramped up even further in recent weeks, featuring a cycle of deadly Israeli raids and Palestinian revenge attacks, as well as an uptick in settler violence.
Palestinian terror attacks in Israel and the West Bank in recent months have left 14 Israelis dead and several more seriously hurt.
At least 85 Palestinians have been killed since the beginning of the year, most of them while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces, but some were uninvolved civilians and others were killed under circumstances that are being investigated.