Where was the Israeli army? It took time to arrive. And when it did arrive, the Palestinian lynch continued as an IDF regiment commander and his soldiers looked on. Those attacked testify that the IDF—the Israel Defense Forces—acted like a United Nations force.
Well, not quite. The IDF force followed its orders for containing security events, in accordance with the policies of the general presently heading Central Command. This is why it didn’t employ riot-dispersion methods even when the youths’ lives were in danger.
This isn’t to say that the commanders were doing nothing. They spent the entire time negotiating with the local police and village elders. Photographs of the event show that the regiment commander didn’t take charge of the area, didn’t announce it a closed military zone, and didn’t rescue the youths under attack. He just helped the Palestinians remove those who were wounded.
The youths report: It was a charade. The eye-catching man in a suit is a Palestinian policeman who previously had thrown rocks at them with the others. The same goes for some of the photographers wearing vests with photographers’ markings. Even the Palestinians in Red Cross vests had joined in the attack on them. Then the Palestinian police put up a defense just outside the outer ring of youths. They didn’t bother stopping the attack—they just asserted control of the event.
I’ve since asked commanders in Judea and Samaria: Doesn’t it concern you that the IDF is showing no ability to take control? Doesn’t this hurt deterrence?
This is not the army that my friends and I once knew.