Footage has emerged online appearing to show a group of Palestinian women and children fighting with an IDF soldier. Gill Cohen of Haaretz reports that the events took place in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh and were, according to activists, a result of the soldier using violence against and attempting to arrest a 12-year-old boy during a protest.
A spokesperson for the Israeli armed forces stated:
“A violent disturbance of the peace in Nabi Saleh, in which Palestinians threw stones at IDF forces that were in the place. The youth who was photographed was identified by the lookout force as a stone-thrower, and because of this it was decided to detain him. At the time of the arrest, a violent provocation by a number of Palestinians developed, including women and children. In light of the violent altercation, the commander decided to not to go ahead with the detention.”
However, Jonathan Pollak, who was an activist at the scene told Haaretz that the boy was not throwing stones and had his arm in a cast when the soldier attempted to detain him.
At the time of writing, the video has been viewed over 1.7million views on Facebook.
The footage of the women and children defending the child was uploaded to Facebook by the Ramallah City page and seems to portray a soldier aggressively restraining the boy with force, when the masked IDF soldier is grappled, bitten and hit by a group of Palestinian women and children, attempting to stop him from detaining the child. A second Israeli soldier then arrives to the aid of his colleague, allowing him to remove himself from the situation, set off a tear gas grenade and throw it at the crowd.