IDF Officers: Rising Arab Violence in Jenin, Qalandiya, Balata, Hebron
Israel Defense Forces officers said three recent incidents of Arab unrest that had to be quelled by soldiers indicate an uptick in violence, mainly from the Jenin refugee camp, Qalandiya, Balata and Hebron, Israel’s Ma’ariv daily reported.
“We’ve seen a steady increase in the activity level of resistance forces in the villages and in the camps,” Lt. Col. Itamar Kohl, deputy commander of the Binyamin Brigade, told Ma’ariv. “The more time we remain in the field, the greater the likelihood of a popular local demonstration, what I call ‘temporary’ disturbance, unplanned without a specific focus that is known in advance.”
The officer said demonstrations are rarely armed, but can be. Violence comes from crowds of up to 100 young people, throwing stones or Molotov cocktails at the soliders, he said.
While raids on known terrorists are more straight forward for his soldiers, the need to differentiate between armed riots and popular demonstrations compels the IDF to tread with more caution.
“If in a public disturbance of 1,500 people, I endanger and hurt one woman, child or an innocent person, not related to the event, I’d be breaking our rules,” he said.