Five soldiers suspended for beating left-wing activist in Hebron

In another video from Hebron on Friday, a soldier told activists "Ben-Gvir will make order here."

 An Israeli soldier gestures during a scuffle between Palestinians and Israeli settlers in Hebron in the West Bank November 19, 2022. (photo credit: MUSSA QAWASMA/REUTERS)
An Israeli soldier gestures during a scuffle between Palestinians and Israeli settlers in Hebron in the West Bank November 19, 2022.

Five IDF soldiers were suspended on Saturday after a left-wing activist was beaten by two soldiers in Hebron on Friday during a visit expressing outrage about riots in the city last weekend. The activist was reportedly arrested after the incident.

Video reportedly from the scene shows the activist being pulled aside by the soldiers into a bus station. As he was being placed in the station, a woman pushed one of the soldiers. As the two soldiers then confronted the woman, the previously detained activist began walking away from the station. As he was walking away, one of the soldiers grabbed him in a choke hold from behind before throwing him to the floor and punching him in the face.

In another video from the visit, a soldier told activists that “[Otzma Yehudit head Itamar] Ben-Gvir will make order here. You’ve lost it. All you do here is finished, the whole brothel you make here.”

When the activist asked if he was doing anything against the law, the soldier responded “you do everything against the law. I decide what the law is and you are acting against the law.”

The soldier was also wearing a badge with a skull reading “One shot. One kill. No remorse. I decide.”

Soldiers confront left-wing activists in Hebron, November 25, 2022 (Credit: Issa Amro and Tal Sagi)

Another video from Hebron on Friday showed a soldier pushing an Israeli journalist and shouting “I don’t like leftists. Get out of here. I’ll mess you up.”

“The soldiers’ behavior is severe, and the violence is not in keeping with the values of the IDF,” said IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi.

IDF soldier tells left-wing activist "I decide what the law is," November 25, 2022 (Credit:

“The incident will be investigated by the commander of the North Command Maj.-Gen. Yehudah Fox,” he said. “The violence will be investigated by the Military Police and, when it’s done, they will give their conclusions to the military prosecution. The rules and instructions enable the soldiers the freedom to fulfill their tasks, but they are not allowed to use unnecessary force, and they are not allowed to be violent.”

Kohavi added that “the soldiers involved have been suspended from taking part in operational activities until the end of the investigation.”

Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg expressed outrage at the incident, stating that “the election promise of Itamar ‘will make order here’ Ben-Gvir and Bezalel ‘the government must deal with human rights organizations’ Smotrich are beginning to be realized.”

The NGO Breaking the Silence blamed the Otzma Yehudit leader for the violence on Friday, stating that “the effects of the upcoming appointment of Ben-Gvir are already being seen on the ground.”

“I know the far-Left people who go to Hebron well,” said Ben-Gvir. “They bully soldiers, humiliate them, curse them and often, they attack them. I’m calling on the police to check if in this case, the far-Left people provoked the soldiers and harmed them first.”

He said that there is no place for violence against people because of their political views, but that if it was revealed that the activists had provoked the soldiers, they should be prosecuted.

Riots broke out in Hebron between Israelis and Palestinians as tens of thousands of Jews visited the city to mark the Shabbat when the Torah portion of Chayei Sarah was read last week.

Much of the violence took place as hundreds of Israelis broke through security barriers and marched with Israeli flags through Palestinian areas to the tomb of Othniel ben Kenaz.

An IDF soldier was attacked by a Jewish visitor with a stick during the Shabbat.