Israel teen arrested for assaulting IDF soldier during Hebron clashes

Servicewoman alleges 17-year-old headbutted her and hit her with a stick; remand extended of another man suspect for assaulting a border police officer

Illustrative: Jews tour in the West Bank city of Hebron, after earlier clashes broke out between Jews and Palestinians, November 19, 2022. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)
Illustrative: Jews tour in the West Bank city of Hebron, after earlier clashes broke out between Jews and Palestinians, November 19, 2022. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)

The Israel Police said Tuesday that it arrested a teenage youth overnight on suspicion of assaulting a female IDF soldier in the West Bank city of Hebron during clashes over the weekend between Israelis and Palestinians.

The suspect, 17, was to be brought for a remand hearing at the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court.

Channel 12 reported that he is a resident of Jerusalem and admits he was in Hebron over the weekend, but denies that he attacked the soldier, who suffered light injuries.

The soldier filed a complaint Sunday with police over the incident.

She was attacked amid clashes between Israelis and Palestinians on Saturday, as thousands of Jewish Israelis spent the weekend in the city for an annual pilgrimage.

The soldier told investigators the assailant grabbed her head and headbutted her, beat her with a stick, and then fled. She was able to describe her assailant to the police.

Several Israelis have been arrested for involvement in the clashes.

Illustrative: A Jewish man suspect of participating in riots Hebron, arrives for a court hearing at the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on November 21, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

A resident of the Kiryat Arba settlement abutting Hebron who allegedly attacked far-right MK Itamar Ben Gvir, was released to house arrest by the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court. The man had reportedly hugged Ben Gvir but the lawmaker’s bodyguard intervened, leading to a clash with settlers. The bodyguard suffered injuries in the brawl and was sent to a hospital for medical treatment.

Ben Gvir and his wife, who was with him at the time, are to give a statement to police at the Hebron station on Wednesday, Channel 12 reported.

Meanwhile, the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court extended by three days the remand of another suspect, 21, who allegedly attacked a female Border Police officer. The suspect, an IDF soldier who was on leave at the time, is a resident of the ultra-Orthodox settlement of Modiin Illit.

Police say he went to Hebron with the intention of stirring up trouble, Walla reported. When the officer stopped him he pulled her hair, punched her, and poked her in the eyes.

On Monday morning, police said officers arrested two Israelis suspected of assaulting troops and initiating clashes with Palestinians in Hebron on Saturday.

Police said the two detainees were suspected of “involvement in assault incidents” in Hebron, without specifying. Six men arrested on Saturday after being suspected of participating in the violence were released on Sunday.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, thousands of Jewish worshipers being escorted by the army to the tomb of Othniel Ben Kenaz attacked Palestinians with stones, who also responded with stone throwing. Ben Kenaz was the first biblical judge after Joshua, and his tomb is believed to be located in the H1 area of Hebron, which is controlled by Palestinians.

The IDF said at the time that several suspects were detained for assaulting soldiers and were handed over to police.

The brawls happened during traditional events marking the yearly Torah reading of the biblical Abraham’s purchase of the Hebron site the Tomb of the Patriarchs to bury his wife, the matriarch Sarah.

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