Three Israeli soldiers were arrested on Monday, the military said, after allegedly throwing an improvised bomb at Palestinians near the West Bank city of Bethlehem in revenge for the seizure of a teenager’s body last week.
In the occupied West Bank, which has seen an uptick in violence since March, Palestinian gunmen on Wednesday took the body of a Druze Israeli student from a hospital in the city of Jenin, where he had been taken after a car crash, according to forces of Israeli defense.
The incident fueled expectations that the military might launch an attack to recover the teenager’s body. But the body was discreetly returned after about 30 hours of negotiations which, according to a diplomat, involved the United Nations (UN).
The gunmen did not announce their motives, but Palestinians demonstrated in Jenin the same day, demanding the release of the remains of their relatives who they said were being held by Israel. The Druze are an Arab community in Israel whose members serve in its military.
The Israeli military said in a statement it had launched an investigation into the attack on Palestinians near Bethlehem by Israeli Druze soldiers on Monday, but could not provide further details.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said if it transpires that the incident was an act of revenge, the military would be dealing with a “major incident that demands accountability”.
“Israeli soldiers do not take the law into their own hands and do not retaliate,” Gantz tweeted.
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