Overnight Saturday there were several clashes between Arabs and Jews in Hebron, the first taking place at 11 PM Friday, and then at 2:00 AM and 3:00 AM Saturday. As a continuation of one of those clashes, several young Jews attacked one of the Arabs, until an Ethiopian Golani soldier rescued him and sent him on his way. The army and the police have launched an investigation.
On Sunday, the Srugim website reported that the young people seen in the video are not residents of the local community but had been on a visit Hebron, sleeping in tents near the Cave of the Patriarchs and in area apartments.
According to Srugim, these are students who are defined as “youth at risk” who attend Rabbi Shalom Sabag’s yeshiva for returnees in Kfar Saba. Rabbi Sabag’s style is passionate and his students create trance music tracks that include audio manipulations of his words during his lessons. The tracks are sometimes called “Trancebag,” a reference to electronic trance music.
In the Arab documentation of the clash was distributed on social networks, and shows a group of young Jews in Shabbat clothes chasing the Arab and beating him with their hands while shouting, and one of them grabs him by the throat and tries to choke him. At this point, the soldier from Golani’s 51st Battalion interferes, shouting “Move aside” and “Leave him alone” until he manages to remove the Arab from the scene.
Some of the Jewish youths were arrested on Saturday morning in Hebron on suspicion of involvement in disorderly conduct.
According to the version of the Jewish youths and their lawyer Itamar Ben-Gvir, himself a resident of Hebron, the clashes began after some Arabs had taunted the group of Jews and threw stones and even Molotov cocktails at them.
The youths were released by police on Saturday morning, on condition that they stay outside Hebron for five days.
According to Ben-Gvir, “The young people claim that Arabs provoked them. It is important to understand that some Hebron Arabs have acquired a method of provoking Jews and then to take pictures of their reaction.”
Ben-Gvir claims that “the video, which was cut in the middle, raises important points about who started with whom? Did the Arab provoke them? In at least one case that’s what happened.”
He insists that “the fact that they are not residents of Hebron is important, but we can’t turn them into criminals and riffraff.”
Police issued a statement on Sunday morning, saying: “Over the weekend, police received a report of a violence and assault incident in Hebron during which a number of suspects attacked a Palestinian and a soldier. Upon receiving the report, the police opened an investigation during which evidence was collected and preliminary investigations were carried out. Overnight, complaints were lodged with the police about the assault incident, following which police investigators took complex investigative actions that soon led to the detection and seizure of visual materials documenting the incident. Tonight, investigators worked to identify and locate suspects involved in the incident, and some have already been summoned to investigate.”