IDF rescues 2 Israeli soldiers mobbed in Qalandiya refugee camp

The Qalandiya refugee camp. Credit: Christian Sterzing via Wikimedia Commons.

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to Five Israeli Border Police officers were injured when security forces entered the Qalandiya refugee camp, north of Jerusalem, on Monday night to rescue two non-combat Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers who had accidentally driven into the area and were attacked by a local Palestinian mob that stoned and firebombed their vehicle.

The two Oketz K-9 unit soldiers arrived in Qalandiya after having apparently taken a wrong turn when using a navigation app. The pair apparently split up in an effort to escape after their vehicle was set on fire by rioters.

“There was an issue here with technology, but the real issue was hatred,” Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Tuesday. “Two soldiers accidentally drove onto a road to Jerusalem that passes through Ramallah. They were pelted with stones and Molotov cocktails….We will investigate the incident and look into the errors that led to this complication. Technology may have been involved in the incident, but it was also used in the rescue efforts. The soldiers who got lost were using Waze (a navigation app), and they took the shortest route, which passed through a hostile area. Even in the GPS age, one should know how to navigate with a map.”

IDF troops sent to recover the non-combat soldiers were able to contact one of the soldiers almost immediately. He was hiding in a nearby yard and was found within half an hour. The second soldier, who could not be reached for about an hour, was considered to be missing, raising concern that he might have been abducted. At around midnight, the second soldier was found unharmed in the nearby town of Kochav Yaakov, where he had fled.

Posted on March 1, 2016 .