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Anger, despair reach new heights in West Bank

The mob attack in the West Bank town of Jenin on two Israel Defense Forces soldiers should be considered as a warning sign for the possible outbreak of a new intifada.

“Almost immediately we were surrounded by a mob that smashed a window and tried to hurt us. It was a true lynching. The only thing I could do was to scream until we were rescued,” recounted an Israeli soldier who was saved on Feb. 12 from an attempted lynching in the West Bank city of Jenin. The soldier was in a military vehicle that took a wrong turn and found herself, along with a male soldier, in the Palestinian town. A crowd of Palestinians surrounded the car, banged on it, pulled the two soldiers out and stole one of their weapons. A video filmed by one of the Palestinians shows the female soldier looking terrified, her face bleeding from cuts caused by the smashed window glass. Were it not for the intervention of Palestinian security forces, the incident could have ended a lot worse.

"The incident was potentially very dangerous and it ended the way it did only due to the conduct of the Palestinian police and the coordination with the Israeli civil administration," an Israeli military source told News 2 Channel. A Palestinian security source told the Ynet news site, “Israel must understand that though we are indeed committed to agreements [with Israel], and though we act upon them and intervene in such cases, we are not Israel’s new South Lebanon Army [SLA]. This won’t happen." The speaker referred to the Christian-controlled SLA militia that operated on Israel’s behalf in southern Lebanon until the Israeli withdrawal from there in 2000.

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