Israeli soldier rescues Palestinian man under attack by Jewish mob in Hebron

JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli soldier rescued a Palestinian resident of Hebron from a mob of Jewish settlers and was attacked by the mob himself.

By Monday morning, four people had been arrested in the attack, including a minor and two teens.

The soldier from the Golani Brigade stationed at a military post in Hebron on Friday night witnessed the gang harassing the Palestinian man and then physically attacking him. The soldier then pulled the man from the mob and fought them off as they attempted to exit the scene. The mob began physically attacking the soldier, dispersing when more soldiers arrived at the scene.

The incident was captured on video.

Police on Sunday questioned several of the Jewish youths seen in the video of the attack. Reports in the Israeli media have identified the alleged attackers as residents of Hebron and also as visiting yeshiva students.

The Palestinian man told Ynet that he was talking on his cellphone when he was attacked by the mob. But an attorney who represents one of the suspects said the Palestinian is “not as innocent” as he appears to be and charged that he had hit the youths earlier in the evening.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz praised the soldier’s actions in a statement posted on Twitter.

“The Golani soldier who protected a Palestinian resident in Hebron acted as every soldier and commander in the IDF should in this situation,” 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.”