An Israeli man was beaten by Palestinians in a confrontation Friday afternoon at a historical site and shrine on the outskirts of Jerusalem, footage showed.
According to the Ynet news site, the brawl erupted at Nebi Samuel after a number of right-wing activists held a counter-protest against Palestinians and left-wing activists who were protesting against the closure of the entrance to the nearby town of Nabi Samwil.
Nebi Samuel is a site cherished by Jews as the tomb of the Biblical prophet Samuel. In the 18th century, a mosque was built at the site over the remains of a Crusader church.
Currently, a small synagogue exists in an underground tomb area beneath the mosque, which is inside an Israeli national park, just over the Green Line in the West Bank, north of the capital.
At some point, several people carrying Palestinian flags ran at two men carrying an Israeli flag, pushing one to the ground, repeatedly kicking him and hitting him with the flags, footage showed.
He was slightly wounded, but refused medical attention and did not want to file a complaint, according to Ynet.
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) August 26, 2022
Israeli soldiers and Border Police officers were seen attempting to separate the sides.
Police said officers arrested five suspects involved in the alleged assault, including a man in his 40s who lives nearby.
Law enforcement officials said officers were expected to arrest more people allegedly involved in the violent incident.
קבר שמואל הנביא! ערבים תוקפים יהודי כשהוא על הרצפה בבעיטות, כי הניף דגל סמוך לחיילים! הזוי! pic.twitter.com/Je77XyYb36
— Yossi Eli יוסי אלי (@Yossi_eli) August 26, 2022
Nabi Samwil municipal leader Amir Obeid told the Ynet news site that it was the sixth week in a row that the residents have demonstrated against the closure of the town’s main entrance.
“We are tired of this situation that has existed for over a decade, since the construction of the separation fence. We ask that the gates be opened, to prevent the suffocation we live in,” he said.
Obeid said “settlers” stole a flag from one of the demonstrators and came with Israeli flags as “an act of agitation and to anger at us.”
“This is the first time that our demonstration has turned violent, we are against violence and for peace, but when a small group of settlers harasses us, that’s what happens,” he told the news site.