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January 14, 2014 11:18 am

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Detained by Israeli Police for Reckless Driving

avatar by Gidon Ben-Zvi

Rami Hamdallah. Photo: Washington Institute.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah was detained by Israeli police on Route 60 between Ramallah and Nablus for driving recklessly, Israeli daily Ma’ariv reported on Tuesday.

Hamdallah’s convoy was stopped by IDF and police officers after it was caught travelling at an excessive speed, the paper said. At that point, according to Israeli security officials, members of Hamdallah’s party refused to cooperate with and even attacked Israeli soldiers, Ma’ariv reported.

A major conflagration was prevented when the IDF’s Judea and Samaria District Commander intervened and ordered the detained convoy to be released, allowing it to continue on its way. According to the official Israeli version of the incident, Hamdallah’s party then sped off, without apologizing for their reckless behavior, Ma’ariv said.

The incident occurred at around 10:00 am Tuesday morning when an IDF officer spotted a row of vehicles driving dangerously fast. The soldier quickly ordered the caravan to pull over to the side of Route 60. The soldier’s command was initially refused and only obeyed after the officer insisted.

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Following the incident, Hamdallah’s office provided a different version of what transpired. The PA Prime Minister claimed that he was arrested by a “gang” of soldiers and “settlers” who refused to release him, going so far as to confiscate his government vehicle.

Following the occurrence on Route 60, the Judea and Samaria District Command announced that it was opening an investigation into the alleged traffic violations perpetrated by the drivers of the convoy, Ma’ariv said. In addition, the Judea and Samaria District asserted that contrary to standard practice with the PA Prime Minister’s convoys, this particular one was travelling without an official escort.

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