Published On: Tue, Sep 13th, 2016

Two Female Soldiers wounded after GPS application Waze leads them into hostile Arab territory

The two IDF soldiers were lightly wounded after residents of village hurled rocks at them; soldiers forbidden from depending on Waze, which has directed IDF soldiers into hostile Palestinian village before.


Two female soldiers who lost their way while using the GPS navigation application Waze were attacked with rocks after the app directed them into a Palestinian village near the Palestinian city of Tulkarm. The two soldiers were lightly injured before being save and removed from the area by the Palestinian security apparatus.

When the two soldiers approached the Palestinian village, they called the police’s emergency response hotline. The responders advised them to continue straight ahead in order to return to Israeli territory. A plain-clothes Palestinian police officer identified them and told them to go in another direction. After ignoring his advice and choosing instead to stick with that of the police, they were eventually identified by locals, who threw stones at their vehicle.

A Palestinian police officer called Palestinian police forces, and the two soldiers were evacuated to a nearby Palestinian police station. The Palestinian forces then contacted Israeli Civil Administration officers and transferred the two IDF soldiers over to the Israeli authorities.

According to initial investigations, the soldiers left division headquarters during the evening from their base in the Jordan Valley en route to their paratroopers base near Kfar Yona. They claim that they used Waze and typed in their destination as Givat Alonim near Kfar Yona. The application turned off during the journey however, causing them to accidentally drive in the direction of Tulkarm.

According to another version of events, they intended to drive to Beit Lid military facility which Waze apparently confused with the Palestinian village of Beit Lid instead.


Soldiers pelted with stones

IDF soldiers are forbidden from relying solely on the Waze application, particularly when in the West Bank, since an investigation launched last February after two soldiers accidentally entered into the Qalandiya refugee camp in their vehicle and were attacked by Palestinians. They exited their vehicle and separated, only one in possession of a weapon.

One of the soldiers called other soldiers to the scene while, in the meantime, their vehicle was set on fire. The back-up forces located one of the soldiers in the camp while the second soldier, without a weapon, managed to make it on foot to Kohav Ya’akov settlement.


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