6 Palestinians Arrested After Caught on Tape Throwing Stones at Israeli Police Jeep

Police say suspects attacked vehicle while it was briefly parked at gas station near Ramallah; incident was recorded and widely shared on Palestinian social media

Palestinian protesters hurl stones at an Israeli military vehicle in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh near Ramallah, Friday, March 3, 2017.
Majdi Mohammed, AP

Israeli police arrested six Palestinians in the West Bank on Sunday night on suspicion of throwing stones at a police jeep in March.

The Border Police said dozens of officers and Israeli soldiers entered the village of Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah, to conduct the arrests.

A Border Police spokesperson said the detainees were all filmed throwing stones at the police jeep at a local gas station on March 3. The arrestees include two minors. Video footage documenting the incident was widely circulated on Palestinian social media a day after the incident.

After the Palestinians allegedly threw stones at the jeep, the Border Police officers fired toward them using crowd dispersal methods. The officers then started the jeep and left. There were no reports of any injuries.

Border Police officials said the engine was turned off for 30 seconds, allowing the Palestinians to approach and throw stones. One person was reportedly arrested immediately after the incident.

After an investigation of the incident, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman criticized the officers because the alleged rioters escaped “unharmed.” A number of lawmakers made similar statements, among them MK Oren Hazan (Likud), who wrote: “Every one of the terrorists who attacked the jeep with the officers inside should have got a live bullet in the head!”

“Findings of the investigation have yet to be received,” a Border Police source told Haaretz immediately after the investigation. “An initial assessment indicated that the officers acted properly. It is not good to look only at 20 seconds of the incident that were released. After 20 seconds of stone throwing, shots for crowd dispersion were fired and the attackers dispersed.”