Truck thief flees Kfar Saba to village beyond Green Line, but police receive instruction to continue pursuit even though they were unarmored. Dozens of residents throw stones, cause damage to patrol car. No injuries reported. Officer investigating why IDF did not help out
Raanan Ben-Zur Published: 02.24.10, 12:17 / Israel News
Kfar Saba Police, in pursuit after a stolen truck that was whisked into the village of Azoun, which is in the Palestinian Authority, were attacked by dozens of Palestinians who threw stones at them. The police were forced to fire shots in the air in order to leave the site. No injuries were reported in the incident.
The police appointed an officer to investigate the incident and to make sense of why there was no collaboration with the military.
A report was received Tuesday night by Kfar Saba Police of a stolen truck in the city. Following the report, a police on patrol took note of a fleeing truck and started pursuing it. The thief escaped to the east, crossed the Green Line into Palestinian Authority territory, and entered the village of Azoun, considered a hostile area.
On order of the police officer taking part in the chase, the policemen entered the village even though the area is not under their jurisdiction. Six unarmored patrol cars participated in the chase. The officers themselves also were not wearing the proper protective gear.
Havoc broke out when dozens of village residents took to the streets and started attacked the police and throwing stones at them. The windshields of the patrol cars were shattered. Damage was also caused to the cars' bodywork. The officers understood that they were in a dangerous situation and fired shots in the air in order to make exiting the village possible.
Before doing so, however, they apprehended the suspected thief as well as the stolen truck.
In such instances, the police typically receive backup from the military when they need to enter a Palestinian village. However, in this case, the military did not help out even though they knew the officers were in the village and were exposed to great danger.
The police said it is currently being examined whether the officers asked help from the military, and, if so, why the military did not respond.
Following this incident which miraculously ended without any injuries to the police forces, Central District Police Chief Nissim Mor appointed an officer to investigate the circumstances surrounding the event and the interface with the military.
IDF officials said police notified the army of the chase only after Palestinians began hurling stones, adding that the officers did not know the name of the viilage they were in.
Patrol cars damaged (archive) Photo: Hagai Aharon
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