The Palestinian police arrested on Thursday evening an armed group of Israeli youths after they entered Beit Jala, near Bethlehem. The youths were then handed over to the Israeli army, which questioned and released them.

A Palestinian security source in Bethlehem reported that the police chased an Israeli licensed Renault driving in the streets of Beit Jala. When the police stopped the car, they found six young Israeli men and women armed with light weapons and wearing civilian clothes.

During interrogation, the Israelis claimed that they were just driving around and had entered the area to meet local residents. 

The Palestinian police contacted the Israeli side and handed the six Israelis to the Israeli army at the Military Coordination Office in Beit Jala.

The army interrogated the six Israelis and released them later on.

Over the last few weeks several similar incidents have been reported in the Palestinian territories.


A senior Palestinian source said that some of the Israelis enter the Palestinian territories while driving around, while others enter Palestinian areas to meet people they are acquainted with.

The source added that the Palestinian Authority will not allow armed Israelis to enter the Palestinian territories.