Senior Fatah official Jibril Rajoub was involved on Wednesday in an altercation with Israeli Border Police troops in the Old City of Hebron, during which he yelled at troops who briefly stopped a member of his group.
Rajoub was accompanying visiting Omani Foreign Minister Yussef bin Alawi on a tour of the city.
The confrontation, which was captured on video, began when a Border Police officer “intercepted” a Palestinian accompanying Rajoub and the Omani minister, witnesses said. It was not immediately clear why the man was stopped.
During the altercation, Rajoub shouted at an officer: “Shut up, go to hell!”
Rajoub also called the female officer “impudent.”
He was also heard on video calling another Border Police soldier “crazy.”
Rajoub, member of the Fatah Central Committee and Chairman of the Palestinian Football Association, hurled the abuse in Hebrew – a language he speaks fluently thanks to the 17 years he spent in Israeli prison for security-related offences in the 70s and 80s.
After the brief standoff, Rajoub and the Omani guest continued their tour of the city.
A Border Police spokesperson accused Rajoub of attempting to provoke the soldiers.
“The visit of the delegation passed quietly expect for a provocative attempt by Rajoub to drag the woman soldier to an extreme response in front of the cameras. The soldiers were not dragged to Rajoub’s provocation,” a statement read.
The Omani foreign minister on Wednesday began a three-day visit to the Palestinian Authority.
During a meeting with Palestinian officials Saeb Erekat and Mohammed Shtayyeh in Ramallah, the Omani minister said that the establishment of a Palestinian state would put an end to violence in the region.
Alawi criticized US President Donald Trump’s December recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, saying it created an inappropriate climate” and was preventing progress of the peace process.
He said that the Palestinian Authority would not be “forced to engage in anything that does not include the rights of Muslims before the rights of Palestinians,” according to the PA’s official news agency.
The Omani minister is scheduled to meet with PA President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday.
The two will discuss ways to “confront” Trump’s Jerusalem decision, Oman’s official news agency reported.