IDF nabs Palestinians suspected of injuring officer in car stoning

IDF nabs Palestinians suspected of injuring officer in car stoning

Group arrested in raid by elite Duvdevan unit last month, but details censored until now

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

Israeli troops arrested a group of Palestinians suspected of throwing a rock at an IDF officer, moderately wounding him last month, the army said Monday.

“The Israel Defense Forces, Shin Bet security service and security forces in a joint operation last month arrested the members of a cell that threw rocks near the village of Azzun… and moderately injured an IDF officer while he was on leave,” the military said in a statement.

Though the arrests were made last month, the matter was censored until Monday.

On September 20, the 23-year-old officer was hit when the rock flew through the windshield of his car near the settlement of Ma’aleh Shomron, west of Nablus. The officer’s father was with him in the car at the time.

The windshield of a car whose driver was hit by a rock and moderately injured in the West Bank, September 20, 2019. (Rescue services)

The wounded man was treated by medics at the scene and taken to a hospital in Petah Tikva.

Several other rock-throwing incidents against Israeli cars were reported in the area around the same time. No injuries were reported in the other incidents

“Following a concerted intelligence effort by the IDF and Shin Bet, we carried out the arrests of the suspects in the rock throwing,” an officer in the elite West Bank-based Duvdevan unit said in a statement.

“The soldiers of the Duvdevan unit are operating around the clock in order to stop and to thwart terrorist activities in the area of Judea and Samaria,” he said, using the biblical term for the West Bank.

Rock-throwing attacks against Israeli vehicles are common in the West Bank, though they rarely cause casualties. Extremist settlers have also been known to attack Palestinian drivers with rocks, and in one incident last year, an Israeli teen is accused of having thrown a rock that killed a Palestinian woman.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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