Palestinian police rescued an Israeli soldier Monday after he mistakenly drove into this West Bank town and was surrounded by a mob that later burned his car. Israel praised the rescue as a sign of the growing strength of Palestinian moderates.
Three policemen spotted the Israeli military officer inside the car and escorted him through the mob before taking him to their headquarters, police said. The soldier suffered no injuries and was handed over to Israeli troops.
The Israeli army said the officer entered Jenin, a town known as a stronghold of militants, by mistake and he was evacuated by Palestinian security forces in cooperation with the army.
Israeli TV stations broadcast video showing Palestinian security officers surrounding the soldier and hustling him away from the crowd, while reassuring him in Hebrew. It was not clear who took the video.
The rescue was a sharp contrast to seven years ago when two Israeli army reservists strayed into the West Bank city of Ramallah. They were captured by Palestinian police, who took them to a police station. A mob stormed the station and killed the two, throwing one body from a second story window as news photographers took pictures.