Police investigating after video on social media shows IDF soldier in Hebron shielding Palestinian from what appears to be Israeli attackers.
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
Police questioned several Jewish residents of Hebron Sunday after a video posted on social media showed an IDF soldier fending off attackers who were trying to beat up a Palestinian man.
The video was recorded late Friday evening by an apparent onlooker in an apartment above the street near an army checkpoint in the city of Hebron. The footage shows the man attacked by a group of a half dozen who appear to be Jewish. The attackers push and punch him as an Israeli soldier runs into the picture from off camera, apparently from a nearby Army checkpoint.
As the soldier tries to get the attackers to move back, one of them grabs the Palestinian around the neck as others punch him in the face.
The soldier pulled the Palestinian away and tried to run down the street shielding the man, as more people joined in on the attack. As the crowd moved out of the picture the soldier appeared to be fending off a dozen attackers while trying to protect the Palestinian.
Police were questioning some of those involved, but the lawyer for one of the suspects said there was more to the story than what was in the video, Ynet reported.
“Already there is an indication that the Arab citizen caught on camera is not as innocent as they [the police] were trying to present him to be,” said Itamar Ben Gvir, who is also a leader of the far-right Otzma Yehudit party. “He had earlier struck a number of young people and they responded.”
However, Palestinian Ibrahim Badr said the men surrounded him in the street when he was talking on his phone outside his house.
“None of them spoke to me, they just started beating me and I tried to defend myself,” Badr told Ynet. “The soldier did indeed rescue me from their hands, but even after more forces were called to the scene, nobody arrested the attackers and they are still free.”
Defense Minister Benny Gantz backed the soldier’s actions and said the Army was there to protect everybody.
“The Golani soldier who protected a Palestinian resident in Hebron acted as is expected of every soldier and commander in the IDF” according to what was reported, Gantz tweeted. “The IDF is committed to the safety of civilians wherever it operates, and I trust the IDF commanding officers to investigate the incident in an orderly manner.”