Female IDF soldier attacked by Jewish rioter in Hebron clashes

Hundreds of Jews reportedly began to march through Palestinian areas of Hebron flying Israeli flags.

 Jews tour in the West Bank city of Hebron, after earlier clashes broke out between Jews and Palestinians, November 19, 2022.  (photo credit: WISAM HASHLAMOUN/FLASH90)
Jews tour in the West Bank city of Hebron, after earlier clashes broke out between Jews and Palestinians, November 19, 2022.
(photo credit: WISAM HASHLAMOUN/FLASH90)

A female IDF soldier was injured in clashes with a Jewish Israeli in Hebron on Saturday afternoon over the Shabbat Chayei Sarah celebrations in the West Bank city.

According to reports, the soldier was attacked during a confrontation between Israeli worshippers and Palestinians at the entrance to the tomb of Otniel Ben Knaz, the first biblical judge of Israel.

The confrontation began during a planned entrance of the Jewish visitors to the tomb, when Israeli citizens began to riot, throwing sharp objects and stones, leading to Palestinians responding in kind.

Israeli security forces worked to disperse the two sides and bring the scene back under control, at which point a member of the Israeli crowd attacked a soldier with a stick.

The injured soldier received medical treatment at the scene before being evacuated for further treatment.

 Israeli settlers gather during a scuffle with Palestinians in the West Bank city of Hebron, November 19, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/MUSSA QAWASMA) Israeli settlers gather during a scuffle with Palestinians in the West Bank city of Hebron, November 19, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/MUSSA QAWASMA)

According to an IDF statement on the subject, several Jewish worshippers were arrested for rioting and violence against soldiers and have been detained for further investigation.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz responded to the news of the violence via Twitter, saying: "I strongly condemn the attack against the security forces and Palestinian residents by extremists in Hebron. The forces on the ground acted resolutely to prevent injury to people and property, and will continue to do their jobs and maintain public order."

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi also condemned the attack against the IDF soldier, calling it a "serious incident, and an unacceptable one."

He added that "it is not possible for an Israeli citizen to violently attack the IDF soldiers working to secure and maintain the security of the citizens."

Violent altercations erupted in Hebron on Saturday afternoon as thousands of Jews were celebrating Shabbat Chayei Sarah at an annual event in the West Bank city, according to Israeli and Palestinian media.

On Saturday morning, hundreds of Jews reportedly began to march through Palestinian areas of Hebron flying Israeli flags and were met with stones thrown by onlooking Palestinians.

Videos posted to social media showed altercations between Jews and Arabs, with IDF soldiers having to separate the two groups. 

Chayei Sarah celebrations in Hebron

Chayei Sarah is the fifth weekly portion in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading, which tells the story of Abraham’s purchase of the Cave of the Patriarchs and the adjoining field as a burial place for his wife Sarah. Hundreds of Jews flock to Hebron every year to join the celebrations on the Shabbat of the week in which the portion is read.

View of the Cave of the Patriarchs in the West Bank city of Hebron on December 2, 2020.  (credit: DAVID COHEN/FLASH 90)View of the Cave of the Patriarchs in the West Bank city of Hebron on December 2, 2020. (credit: DAVID COHEN/FLASH 90)

Ben-Gvir's bodyguard attacked by settlers

In a separate incident, Itamar Ben-Gvir's bodyguard was injured in an attack on the Otzma Yehudit head's security detail by Israeli settlers during Chayei Sarah events in the West Bank city of Hebron on Friday night, N12 reported.

According to the report, the incident developed due to heavy drinking by the suspects involved during the Hebron celebrations.

The injured security officer was taken to a nearby medical facility for further treatment.

Amir Bohbot/Walla! contributed to this report. This is a developing story.