JERUSALEM (JTA) — A video showing an Israeli soldier swarmed by Palestinian women and girls trying to prevent the arrest of a boy during a West Bank demonstration reportedly has gone viral.
The video from Friday’s incident shows an Israeli soldier catchings the boy, 11, who has a broken arm and according to the military had been throwing rocks at soldiers during the protest near Nabi Saleh. But the screaming Palestinian women and girls, along with other activists, free the boy.
The soldier, who was injured in the scrum, and a second soldier who comes to his aid walk away without making the arrest. Two other Palestinians were arrested for throwing rocks during the demonstration.
The video has had 2 million views on social media, according to Haaretz.
The Israel Defense Forces said the boy was not arrested due to the women’s violence.
“The youth in the picture was seen throwing rocks, and as such a decision was made to arrest him,” the IDF said in a statement. “During the arrest, a violent provocation began which included a number of Palestinian women and children. As a result of the violent clash, a decision was made by the regional commander to cease the arrest.”
The residents of Nabi Saleh have held weekly protests for more than five years calling for the return of a spring and the surrounding land that they say were taken over by Israeli settlers.