GPS application Waze leads two female soldiers into Arab village
Two female soldiers who lost their way while using the GPS navigation application Waze were attacked with rocks by Arab terrorists after the app directed them into an Arab village near the Arab city of Tulkarm. The two soldiers were lightly injured before being saved and removed from the area by the Palestinian Authority security apparatus.
When the two soldiers approached the Arab 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 Authority 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 Authority police officer called PA police forces, and the two soldiers were evacuated to a nearby PA police station. The PA 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 Arab village of Beit Lid instead.
IDF soldiers are forbidden from relying solely on the Waze application, particularly when in Judea and Samaria, since an investigation launched last February after two soldiers accidentally entered into Qalandiya in their vehicle and were attacked by Arabs. 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 neighborhood while the second soldier, without a weapon, managed to make it on foot to Kohav Ya’akov.