An IDF soldier was lightly injured while attempting to arrest a Palestinian boy Friday near the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh when he was attacked by a group of Palestinian women and children.
According to the IDF, Palestinians threw stones at Israeli soldiers during a protest. Weekly protests are held near Nabi Saleh, west of Ramallah, to protest Israeli settlements, and it is regularly the site of altercations between Israeli security personnel and pro-Palestinian activists.
The boy in question was seen throwing stones “and therefore it was decided to arrest him,” the military said in a statement.
The IDF told Haaretz that it wasn’t clear the suspected stone thrower was a minor. During the boy’s arrest, the IDF said, “a violent provocation by several Palestinians” took place.
Photos taken at the scene showed the masked soldier surrounded by women and children, holding the boy in a headlock.
In a video uploaded by Palestinian activists, the soldier appears to forcefully restrain the boy, whose arm is in a cast, and at several points chokes and presses the kid’s head against a boulder to keep him still. Activists said the boy was 12 years old.
Moments later, a group of Palestinian women accompanied by a girl named A’hd Tamimi, who identifies herself as the boy’s sister, begin grappling with the soldier and punching him repeatedly while he holds down the boy. At one point the girl bites his hand.
A minute later, another IDF soldier arrives, helps push some of the attackers off, and the first soldier steps out of the fray, leaving the boy. As he walks away, he pulls the pin on a tear gas grenade and throws it into the crowd of activists and journalists.
The IDF said it arrested two other Palestinians who threw stones, but that the commanding officer called off the arrest of the boy because of the “violent confrontation.” Haaretz reported that one of the two arrested was a foreign activist.