A senior officer in the IDF's Central Command spoke with military reporters Thursday about the security situation in Judea and Samaria, and the so-called “popular terrorism” that has claimed numerous Jewish victims through the use of rocks and firebombs, as well as vehicular terror.
He spoke at length about the legal situation regarding arrests of terrorists in Judea and Samaria, noting specifically the case of Col. Israel Shomer, the Binyamin Brigade Commander who shot and killed an Arab man who hurled a rock at his jeep on July 3, and another shooting incident near Yitzhar. He accused prosecutors of often being “disconnected from the field.”
The officer explained that soldiers are allowed and even expected to fire at suspects who try to get away. "What is the procedure for arresting a suspect? It is not about when he is throwing bricks at you and it is obvious that there is a danger and he needs to be neutralized. The procedure is for after the attacker escapes – and that is what the regiment commander did."
"Professionally he behaved properly. In terms of what happened on the ground, the second bullet did not hit right and he is sorry about that but one cannot say that he operated wrong professionally.”
"I have been receiving many recommendations from the Prosecution and I have not implemented all of them,” he added. “They don't understand the professional aspect of the fighting on the ground.”
The officer said that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has had “a meaningful contribution to stability” in Judea and Samaria. The officer apparently did not mention the ceaseless incitement to terrorism by Abbas.
Regarding the easing of restrictions on Arab residents during Ramadan, the officer said that the IDF made a mistake. However, he was not referring to the terror attacks that were conducted during Ramadan, but to the fact that the PA leadership thinks Israel should have consulted with it more. It turns out that PA merchants complained that they lost revenue during Ramadan, because many people who went to Jerusalem did not go to Al Aqsa to pray, and instead went shopping at Jerusalem's Malha shopping center.