An IDF force operating near Nablus has been disturbing the peace of the residents of the Palestinian village of Nurif, which is adjacent to the city, by using the public address system mounted on its vehicles, Ynet learned Thursday.
The force, which patrolled the villages area in December, would enter the village in all hours of the day and night, and sound the PA system's sirens and horns, as well as use stun grenades and light flares – for no reason.
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The IDF said that the troops were found in violation of military protocols and were reprimanded.
Ynet has obtained a video depicting two IDF jeeps entering the village in the middle of the night. The soldiers are seen going out of their way to disturb the residents' peace.
The video shows the soldiers, some in the jeep and some on foot, patrolling the village's empty streets and occasionally sounding the jeep's deafening horn.
Moments later, one of the soldiers is heard shouting "Sabah al-noor, Urif!" ("good morning Urif") in the vehicle's PA system, turning on a siren, and calling on everyone to "wake up!"
One of the soldiers is also seen throwing a stun grenade at an empty area.
No riots of public disturbances took place during the incident, nor are the soldiers seen as facing any danger that warrants the use of what is essentially part of the crowd-control protocols.
No arrests were made in the area, either.
The incident caught on tape was one of several that took place in December. One of the residents hedged that the soldiers were trying to create deterrence in the area, as Urif is often the scene of clashes with settlers in nearby Yitzhar.
"Establishing presence" was practiced by the IDF in hostile Palestinian areas of the West Bank in the past, with aim of forcing terror operatives out of their homes. The protocol was harshly criticized and ceased.
IDF troops in the area are also under orders to minimize clashes with Palestinians, given the overall unrest sweeping the West Bank in the wake of the PA's UN bid.
A senior officer told Ynet that "If we have to go in and arrest a wanted man we do it – but we make the effort to do is as quietly as possible."
The IDF issued a statement saying that: "Over the past few months, the IDF's activity in the area has been bolstered following an increase in disturbance incidents, in order to minimize the clashes between the resident of Urif and Yitzhar.
"During a nightly operation in December, the PA system was used in a manner contrasting protocol and the force's commander was reprimanded accordingly.
"The incident is being investigated in order to avoid its reoccurrence."
Following the incident in Nurif and other similar incidents, Attorney Emily Schaeffer sent a letter on behalf of the Yesh Din organization to Military Advocate General Danny Efroni in which she warned that there are suspicions that the soldiers committed acts that are illegal according to army protocol. She demanded that Efroni order an immediate criminal investigation into the events, which, according to her, raise suspicions of abuse and overstepping authority.
You can contact Elior Levy, Ynet's Palestinian Affairs Correspondent, at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Itamar Fleishman contributed to this report
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