Two Israeli soldiers, a male and female, accidentally drove into the Palestinian town of Jenin in northern Samaria on Monday.
They nearly paid for the mistake with their lives.
Just minutes after the marked IDF vehicle entered Jenin, it was surrounded by an angry and violent mob.
The Palestinian rioters smashed the truck’s windows with stones and attempted to pull the female soldier out of the vehicle. Failing that, they took her unloaded M16 assault rifle.
Fortunately for the terrified pair, Palestinian Authority police officers quickly arrived at the scene and escorted the Israelis out of town and to the nearest IDF installation.
Palestinian security also later recovered the stolen M16 and returned it to the IDF.
Both soldiers suffered light injuries. Photos of the female soldier with a bloodied face were featured on Tuesday’s front pages, infuriating most Israelis.
Writing in Israel’s best-selling daily newspaper, Yediot Ahronot, columnist Shlomo Pyutrekovsky accused the government of responding too weakly to such incidents, and thereby putting the lives of our young soldiers at even greater risk. He wrote:
“The Jenin rioters who attacked the soldiers are not afraid of what will happen to them. They don’t really think someone will knock on their door in a day or two and haul them in front of a judge. The IDF is no longer scary and these soldiers paid the price.”