IDF bulldozer filmed clearing stones at ‘high speed’ during West Bank clashes
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IDF bulldozer filmed clearing stones at ‘high speed’ during West Bank clashes

9-year-old Palestinian boy, photojournalist reported hurt in ‘irregular’ incident; military says footage was sped up, vehicle pelted by rocks

A military bulldozer was seen in footage driving at high speed in a village in the northern West Bank, as it cleared rocks the Israel Defense Forces said were placed in the road during clashes with Palestinian demonstrators on Friday.

Palestinians said a boy and a photojournalist in Kafr Qaddum were injured by rocks that were pushed by the bulldozer.

Footage of the incident, which Hebrew media described as ״irregular,” and which the army said was edited to make the bulldozer appear as if it was going faster, showed the vehicle apparently speeding through the village as it pushed the boulders down a road. A number of Palestinians throwing stones at the vehicle are seen running to the side of the road as the bulldozer quickly passes.

Video taken from a different angle shows a number of the stones rolling down the hill toward a few dozen Palestinians running from the bulldozer, one of whom appeared to be knocked down by one of the rocks.

In footage from a third angle, one of the rocks appears to hit a boy before hitting an ambulance.

The Palestinian Authority’s official Wafa news agency said Mo’men Shtewi, 9, and Palestine TV photojournalist Mohammad Enaya, 28, were injured by the rocks.

Shtwei was treated at the scene while Enaya was hospitalized in moderate condition, according to Wafa.

The IDF said around 70 Palestinians were rioting in the village, throwing rocks at Israeli troops and burning tires.

“The forces that were acting to disperse the riot, just like every Friday, spotted a blockade of rocks that were placed at the entrance to the village to prevent the forces from getting to the point [of the riot] and to allow rioting in a nearby community,” the military said in a statement.

The IDF said the bulldozer was used to clear the stones and was pelted with rocks while doing so, leading commanders to order it to pull back. Because it changed the directions, the rocks being moved by the bulldozers were pushed toward the Palestinians, according to the IDF.

The military also charged that the footage was edited to make the bulldozer appear as if it was going faster.

“The video was filmed at a sharp incline and was sped up by editing at a speed greater than the original,” it said.

Illustrative: Palestinians hurl rocks amid clashes with Israeli soldiers by the security separation barrier at the western entrance to the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem, February 18, 2020. (Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP)

Also Friday, an Israeli soldier was lightly injured by a rock thrown by Palestinians during rioting in the village of Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah.

The soldier was taken to Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer for treatment, according to the Walla news site.

The West Bank has seen an uptick since the release of a US peace plan on January 28 that Palestinians reject as biased in favor of Israel.

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