Israeli Police to Guard Ambulances Collecting Wounded Palestinian Terrorists

Move follows recent incident in Hebron when settlers blocked IDF ambulance trying to take injured Palestinian to hospital.

Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen
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An Israeli ambulance and IDF officers at the scene of a terror attack in the West Bank, October 20, 2015.Credit: Hebron Hills IDF Spokesman
Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen

Ambulances collecting Palestinian terrorists who have been wounded in terror attacks are to receive police protection. The Israel Defense Forces implemented the new protocol on Wednesday, following a recent incident in which West Bank settlers blocked an ambulance taking a seriously wounded terrorist to hospital after a terror attack in Hebron.

The incident took place about two weeks ago when an IDF soldier was stabbed and sustained moderate injuries, while the Palestinian attacker was wounded after being shot by soldiers. When an IDF ambulance came to provide care for the terrorist as well, the vehicle was blocked by dozens of settlers, who prevented it from leaving in the direction of the hospital. The military ambulance struggled to maneuver its way out, and succeeded only after being surrounded and aided by a large number of soldiers.

In the investigation conducted by the Judea Brigade afterward, it was decided that the incident signaled the need for a change in protocol. According to an officer in the brigade, the army didn’t anticipate the possibility that settlers would try to interfere with the activity of the forces even after attacks against them, although from time to time there has been friction between the security forces and settlers in the area.

In wake of the incident, the brigade decided to change the instructions to forces in the area. The policy change has already been implemented: when an ambulance was summoned to the site of an attempted stabbing at a military checkpoint at the entrance to Tel Rumeida on Wednesday, it was accompanied by a police van.

Also Wednesday, there was an attempted stabbing in Hebron in which the Palestinian terrorist was shot and killed. No Israelis were hurt. The Palestinian Health Ministry reported that the dead man was Islam Hamad Abido, 23, from Hebron. The army’s initial investigation indicated that the man tried to stab soldiers during the course of an inspection. Palestinians claimed that soldiers prevented medical teams from reaching Abido after he was shot and wounded. After the incident, there were clashes between Palestinians and security forces at the site.

The incident is similar to one that took place in the same place later on Wednesday, when a Palestinian was shot and killed after allegedly attempting to carry out a stabbing attack at the checkpoint.