A female Israel Defense Forces soldier was attacked by Jewish Israelis who were in Hebron on the Sabbath to visit the tomb of Othniel, a biblical judge.
The West Bank city of Hebron – located in biblical Judea – is divided between Palestinian and Israeli control and is a flashpoint for violence between Palestinians and Jewish settlers.
On Saturday, Jewish worshippers visiting the tomb instigated a riot when they started throwing sharp objects and stones at Palestinians, the IDF said. When Israeli soldiers attempted to quell the fighting, the female soldier was attacked by an Israeli Jewish man with a wooden stick.
"This is a very serious event. It cannot be that an Israeli civilian will violently attack IDF soldiers who operate to protect and keep civilians safe," said IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Aviv Kochavi. "This shameful and criminal behavior requires a rapid lawful response."
The soldier and three others were wounded, according to the military. Several suspects were arrested.
“Forces that were securing the area acted to separate the two sides and used riot dispersal means,” the IDF said.
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid called the incident a “national disgrace.”
“This is harmful to Israel’s security, it harms the values of the Israel Defense Forces and those who protect our lives, and this is a serious criminal offense. This evening I wish strength to the soldiers of the IDF who stand guarding our country. We will bring justice to the perpetrators,” Lapid said.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.