By Baruch Yedid, TPS
A controversial video of an Israeli soldier in Hebron assaulting and taunting a Palestinian was deliberately instigated, and more provocations are coming, a prominent Palestinian activist admitted in exclusive comments to Tazpit Press Service.
Two soldiers were suspended by the IDF on Friday after they were filmed hitting and taunting two left-wing activists in Hebron.
The visit of a delegation of Israeli left-wing activists was organized by Issa Amro, a 42-year-old Palestinian from Hebron who founded Youth Against Settlements and is a prominent personality in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel.
Amro told TPS that the incident and video are “part of a media protest campaign, which is being planned by Palestinian, Israeli and international protest organizations against the Israeli government.”
Other sources in Hebron who talked to TPS described the incident as an “ambush” for the elite Givati Brigade soldiers stationed in Hebron’s Jewish enclave. The Palestinians stressed that the IDF has “no answer” for these videos.
Amro confirmed to TPS that he filmed the video.
The incident took place a week after thousands of Jews gathered in Hebron and the adjacent Kiryat Arba community for the annual Sabbath during which the Torah portion recounting Abraham’s purchase of the Tomb of the Patriarchs is read.
Amro told TPS that the tour he organized for left-wing activists was “in response to the events that took place” in Hebron during that Sabbath and what he claimed was “the violence by settlers against Palestinian families.”
Palestinians are preparing for more protests in Hebron and a social media campaign, he said.
“We are organizing a wave of protest to ensure that this extreme right-wing Israeli government will not be able to act. Activists from international organizations have begun to arrive in the city in preparation for the upcoming activity. We expect a very large wave of violence in the city.”
The Palestinians are deeply suspicious of Itamar Ben-Gvir, who will receive a cabinet position that includes oversight of Israeli security forces in Judea and Samaria. On Friday, Ben-Gvir’s Otzma Yehudit party signed an agreement with Likud stipulating that the party will be given the position of Minister of National Security, which will be an expansion of the powers held by the current Minister of Public Security.
Negotiations between Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu and the other right-wing and religious parties remain bogged down.
“We intend to confront the Ben-Gvir government,” Amro insisted. “This is not the Netanyahu government, but the government of Ben-Gvir and Netanyahu, and we will fight it.”
Ben-Gvir has demanded an inquiry into the incident, adding that the military should back their troops rather than taking the side of anti-Israel activists. He also claimed the military must back their troops, rather than taking the side of leftists.