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Palestinian security seen ejecting IDF patrol from Hebron market

Army investigating incident in Israeli-controlled area, says commander made a ‘misjudgment’ in allowing Palestinian officer to shoo soldiers away from Old City shops

Illustrative: Israeli soldiers walk though a Hebron market on June 19, 2014. (AP/Majdi Mohammed)
Illustrative: Israeli soldiers walk though a Hebron market on June 19, 2014. (AP/Majdi Mohammed)

The IDF opened a probe Wednesday after a video was shared on social media showing Palestinian police ejecting an Israeli army patrol from a market in the West Bank city of Hebron.

The army said in a statement that the commanding officer of the force made a “misjudgment.”

In the video, a group of armed men from the Palestinian security forces is seen approaching an IDF patrol of several soldiers inside a market in the Old City area, a section of the city formally under Israeli security control.

The leading Palestinian officer greets the soldier and then asks, in Hebrew, “What are you doing here?”

He then vigorously urges the soldiers to leave, speaking in Hebrew and Arabic. The soldiers briefly appeared to resist his demand but then the force commander, apparently a first lieutenant, indicated that they should leave.

The Palestinian security officers followed the soldiers to ensure they leave the area, while locals jeered at the Israeli force.

The IDF said in a statement that the soldiers were patrolling in the area of the market and that the Palestinian officers arrived without prior coordination.

“The force commander exercised a misjudgment when he decided to leave the point. The incident is being investigated,” the army said.

The IDF intends to continue sending patrols into the Hebron market, Channel 12 News reported Thursday.

Hebron is a city with a population of over 210,000 Palestinians and several hundred Israeli settlers living in enclaves, mostly near its old city area.

Under the Hebron Protocol signed in 1997, Israel controls the segment of the city known as “H2,” home to some 500 Israeli settlers and 40,000 Palestinians. Hebron’s Old City falls within the area.

Tensions between Israel and the Palestinians have been bubbling up in recent months. A deadly wave of terror attacks in Israeli cities claimed the lives of 19 people between late March and mid-May. The military stepped up its West Bank activities in an attempt to crack down on the spiraling violence.

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