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Soldiers take wrong turn, come under attack in Palestinian village

Army truck pelted with rocks after troops get lost in the West Bank; IDF investigating if Waze app was used — again

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

Illustration. Palestinian protesters throw stones at an Israeli military car during a rally at the Qalandiya checkpoint, north of Jerusalem, on March 30, 2013. (Issam Rimawi/Flash90)
Illustration. Palestinian protesters throw stones at an Israeli military car during a rally at the Qalandiya checkpoint, north of Jerusalem, on March 30, 2013. (Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

Two IDF soldiers accidentally drove into a Palestinian village in the West Bank Tuesday evening, sparking a brief clash with local residents who pelted the vehicle with rocks, the army said.

The soldiers were unharmed in the incident and drove out of Beit Fajjar, south of Jerusalem, without the need for additional assistance, an army spokesperson said.

It was not immediately clear how the soldiers wound up in the West Bank village, but the IDF immediately launched an investigation to determine how the mistake was made.

Though the soldiers were uninjured, the army pickup truck had its windshield smashed in the riot that broke out when they entered the town, located a few miles south of Bethlehem, the army said.

https://twitter.com/IsraelHatzolah/status/725042353107439616

In March, another pair of soldiers following directions from the Waze naviagtion application entered the Qalandiya refugee camp.

In the ensuing riot with IDF troops and Border Police officers, one resident of the city was killed and 10 more were injured.

When the army lost contact with one of the soldiers involved in the March foul-up, the forces on the scene employed a measure known as the “Hannibal Protocol,” which grants the IDF near complete freedom of operation. It is used in only the most extreme circumstance to ensure that soldiers are not taken hostage.

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In March, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon denounced the use of the navigation program, encouraging soldiers to instead use physical maps.

“I learned ages ago the importance of navigating with the aid of a real map, and mainly to know the surrounding area and not to rely too heavily on technology which can lead the user astray,” Ya’alon said at the time.

The application has a feature that allows avoiding Palestinian-controlled territories which the soldiers had apparently disabled before blundering into the refugee camp, the company said.

Waze, an Israeli-developed navigation app, was acquired by Google for more than $1 billion in 2013.

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