IDF: Relative calm in West Bank during Palestinian statehood bid
Despite rise in incidents of rock-throwing at Israeli vehicles and at Jewish settlements in West Bank, as well as a few confrontations, officers in Central Command say large-scale unrest they had feared failed to materialize.
The Israel Defense Forces is set to assess the security situation in the West Bank on Sunday. Senior officers have expressed satisfaction with the coordination with Palestinian security forces. While officials had been preparing for clashes stemming from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' formal UN statehood bid, no major violence was reported over the weekend, not even after Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian demonstrator.
While noting a rise in the incidence of rocks thrown at Israeli vehicles and at Jewish settlements in the West Bank, as well as a few confrontations, officers in the Central Command said the large-scale unrest they had feared failed to materialize. They and officers in the General Staff will decide on Sunday whether to maintain higher deployment levels in the Judea and Samaria Division - five additional battalions had been called in.
Israeli officers praised the "good and continuous" coordination over the weekend with Palestinian security forces, citing their success in "containing" big demonstrations inside the Palestinian cities rather than permitting them to reach areas under Israeli control. All of the violent protests were held at the usual pressure points - where Palestinian forces are not deployed - such as the Qalandiyah crossing, north of Jerusalem, and the villages of Bil'in, Na'alin and Nabi Saleh.
On Saturday, Brig. Gen. Nitzan Alon, commander of the Judea and Samaria Division, visited the site near the village of Qusra, south of Nablus, where a Palestinian civilian was killed by IDF fire on Friday. Seven Palestinians were injured in the incident. The evidence collected so far indicates that the incident began when settlers from the unauthorized outposts in the Shiloh Valley sought to vandalize fields tilled by Qusra residents and were confronted by about 300 Palestinians. According to the IDF Spokesman's Office, IDF troops responding to the incident fired live rounds after the use of crowd-control devices failed to calm the rioters, who threw rocks at the soldiers.
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