Senior IDF commander reportedly attacked by Jews during West Bank rioting

Public broadcaster says head of Binyamin Brigade was violently assaulted as military forces attempted to prevent youths from throwing stones at Palestinian-owned vehicles

IDF soldiers patrol the main road in Huwara town in the West Bank, on February 27, 2023. (Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP)
Illustrative: IDF soldiers patrol the main road in Huwara town in the West Bank, on February 27, 2023. (RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP)

A senior IDF commander was reportedly attacked by a group of Jewish Israelis, while operating Sunday night near the West Bank settlement of Rimonim.

The Kan public broadcaster reported Monday that the attack occurred after the commander of the Binyamin Territorial Brigade, Colonel Eliav Elbaz, exited his jeep to prevent a group of young Jews from throwing rocks at Palestinian-owned vehicles passing through the Rimonim Junction, northeast of Jerusalem.

The reported incident came during a violent rampage carried out by Israeli settlers in the West Bank town of Huwara on Sunday evening. They set fire to Palestinian homes and cars hours, after a terror attack in the same town claimed the lives of two Jewish Israelis.

As Elbaz and some of his soldiers attempted to intervene to stop the rock-throwing, he was violently attacked by the youths, according to the report.

The broadcaster said two suspects were arrested and brought before a court on Monday, but have since been released, though police have appealed the decision.

There was no immediate comment from the IDF.

An aerial view of a scrapyard where cars were torched overnight, in the Palestinian town of Huwara near Nablus in the West Bank, on February 27, 2023. (RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP)

In Huwara, Palestinian media said some 30 homes and cars were torched. Photos and video on social media showed large fires burning throughout the town of Huwara — a town just south of Nablus — and lighting up the sky.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said one man was shot dead by Israeli fire during the riots in the town of Za’tara, south of Huwara and close to the settlement of Kfar Tapuah. The Palestinian Red Crescent medical service said two other people were shot and wounded, a third person was stabbed, and a fourth was beaten with an iron bar.

A military source said Israeli troops were not involved in the shooting that killed 37-year-old Sameh Aqtash, though his family accused the IDF of shooting him dead.

Emanuel Fabian contributed to this report. 

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