Palestinian security officers attacked in northern West Bank

Settlers accused in rock attack outside the Yitzhar settlement near Nablus; Israeli police open investigation

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

Palestinian security officers in the West Bank city of Nablus (Wagdit Ashtiyeh/Flash90)
Palestinian security officers in the West Bank city of Nablus (Wagdit Ashtiyeh/Flash90)

Two Palestinian security officers were attacked while driving through the northern West Bank on Monday evening, police said.

According to local Palestinian media, the assailants were Israeli settlers, but the claim was not verified by Israeli police.

The attack occurred near the Yitzhar settlement, a community that has a noted history of violence toward Palestinians and Israeli security forces.

Police would not comment on the identity of the attackers, but said “an investigation has been opened” into the incident.

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Police were called well after the incident had taken place, so by the time they arrived, the victims and the assailants had already left the scene, a spokesperson for the Israel Police said.

The Palestinian security officers were named as Imad Salih and Majd Salih. They sustained minor to moderate wounds in the attack, according to Ma’an news.

The two were treated on the scene, though it was not immediately clear by whom. Though Palestinians reported that military medics treated the victims, a spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces said the army had not been involved in the incident.

The Magen David Adom ambulance service also denied treating the wounded Palestinian officers.

Under the Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Authority was allowed to set up a police force. However, that police department could only act in cases of internal Palestinian issues. Israeli crimes against Palestinians fell under the domain of the Israel Police’s Judea and Samaria Division, named after the biblical designation for the West Bank.

Over the years, the Judea and Samaria Division has been accused of failing to investigate cases of Israeli violence against Palestinians.

From 2005 to 2014, for instance, the Yesh Din human rights organization tracked 1,045 Palestinian complaints against Jewish settlers and found that only 7.4 percent resulted in indictments. From 2013 to 2014, of over 150 complaints filed by Palestinians, only two indictments were made by the Judea and Samaria Police Division.

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