Senior Fatah party official Jibril Rajoub claimed Sunday that he had been halted on the outskirts of the West Bank city of Ramallah by an IDF soldier, who proceeded to point his personal weapon at the Palestinian leader without any apparent prior provocation.
According to Channel 2, Rajoub, the Fatah Central Committee deputy secretary and the head of the Palestinian Supreme Council for Sport and Youth Affairs, was jogging along with several other men when an IDF solider from a nearby army post called on the Palestinians to stop in their tracks.
In a recording of the incident published by Israel’s Channel 2 news, an audibly distraught Rajoub can be heard inquiring as to why the soldier is pointing his gun at the group. The soldier is then heard responding to Rajoub that “I want to point my weapon, I’ll point my weapon, you won’t tell me what to do.”
Rajoub then tells the solider he ought to be ashamed of himself. When the soldier threatens to detain Rajoub, the Fatah party official can be heard yelling “who are you to arrest me? Call your commander!”
The incident, according to Channel 2, was only resolved after a second IDF soldier recognized Rajoub and consequently allowed the group to continue on its way.
In a statement released by the IDF Spokesman’s Unit following the event, the army maintained that Rajoub and his friend’s were ordered to halt after soldiers noticed one member of the group holding a bottle, which they suspected to be a Molotov cocktail.
The soldier raised his weapon at Rajoub only after the group did not comply with the orders, the statement continued, adding that the soldier acted in accordance with military protocol throughout the entire event.
The volatile incident comes following an alleged Jewish terrorist attack in the Palestinian village of Duma on Friday which resulted in the death of Ali Dawabsha, an 18-month-old infant. Dawabsha’s father, Saad, his mother Riham, and four-year-old brother Ahmad, were severely injured in the firebombing attack as well.
The family’s small brick and cement home was gutted by the fire, and a Star of David was spray-painted on a wall along with the words “revenge” and “long live the Messiah.”
Two assailants are believed to have carried out the attack. A gag order has been imposed on the investigation.