Tuesday, December 12, 2017

12-Dec-17: Thwarted knifing attack near Ariel [UPDATED]

According to a Times of Israel report, IDF soldiers broke up a riotous crowd near the Arab village of Salfit, located south of the Israeli city Ariel earlier today. The Arabs were hurling rocks at the Israelis who eventually gave chase and caught one of them at the edge of Salfit. He is said to have drawn a knife on them, prompting them to open fire, according to a Hadashot TV report. The would-be stabber was hit in the head and is being treated in hospital for his injuries.

UPDATE 6:00 pm December 12, 2017 The narrative has just gotten considerably cloudier and more troubling. In an updated report, "Palestinian shot by soldiers wasn’t carrying a knife, IDF finds", Times of Israel says
The army on Tuesday launched an investigation after soldiers shot a Palestinian who they said appeared to pull a knife out of his pocket, though no such weapon was recovered at the scene. In a statement, the IDF said troops spotted a group of Palestinians approaching the fence around the Ariel settlement “in a suspicious manner.” The soldiers opened fire at one of the suspects after he “appeared to pull a knife out of his pocket,” the army said. However, upon searching the area, near the Palestinian village of Salfit, the military found no knife, indicating the soldiers apparently opened fire in error. Israeli army medics treated the wounded Palestinian on the scene, before taking him to the hospital.“The incident will be reviewed,” the army said. The army’s statement, released Tuesday evening, conflicted with earlier reports from the afternoon, which claimed the injured Palestinian had been throwing rocks at soldiers and when confronted by them, took out a knife and tried to stab them.
Ynet adds this:
Several Palestinians suspected of trying to tamper with the security force near Ariel advanced on an IDF force. One of them inserted his hand into his pocket in a manner that resembled drawing a knife. In response, the IDF force shot and struck him.
Mistakes on the battlefield and under conditions of stress, and even tragic mishaps - they're not new and in large measure they're inevitable. We're confident the IDF's investigators and legal teams will approach this in a professional, ethical way.

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