West Bank attack on German tourists a case of mistaken identity, says Palestinan Authority

A Palestinian protester using a slingshot to shoot a stone at Israeli soldiers during a clash on March 17, 2023. PHOTO: AFP

NABLUS – Palestinians who attacked German tourists in Nablus had feared they were Israeli forces, a spokesman for the Palestinian Authority security services said on Sunday, stressing that they have “zero hostility” towards Germany.

The two tourists drove on Saturday through central Nablus, a city in the north of the occupied West Bank, when they came under attack.

“A group of young men... hurled stones at a civilian car with Israeli licence plates,” a local Palestinian security official said on condition of anonymity.

Germany’s ambassador to Israel, Mr Steffen Seibert, said on Twitter: “A mob attacking tourists because they don’t like their licence plate is disgusting and cowardly.”

Palestinian security forces spokesman Talal Dweikat told AFP that “we clearly have zero hostility towards a country whose citizens visit our cities”.

According to Mr Dweikat, those involved were “wary” of a “foreign” car, fearing it was being used by undercover Israeli forces, who often operate in the West Bank, occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War of 1967.

The spokesman said the tourists had been rescued by a Palestinian police officer who helped them exit the city centre, while Seibert thanked “the Palestinian Israeli citizen who saved them”.

The incident comes amid a surge in violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, coinciding with the tenure of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hard-right government that took office in Israel last December.

The northern West Bank, particularly the cities of Nablus and Jenin, have seen repeated deadly Israeli raids targeting Palestinian militants. AFP

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