A group of Jews walking back from Friday evening prayers in Hebron were attacked by stone throwing Arabs, and after two young men were injured, members of the group responded, creating an outcry in the Arab media that the Jews had gone on a rampage.
An eyewitness, who preferred to remain anonymous, reported that, as was their custom, a group of almost one hundred Jews was walking back to the city of Kiryat Arba from evening prayers at the Machpela (Cave of the Patriarchs) in the adjacent city of Hebron. A group of Arabs attacked them with rocks and the IDF troops accompanying the civilians were ineffective in stopping the attack.
One young man was injured in the face and the stone throwing increased in intensity. Another man was injured in the arm and at that point, the young men in the group began to respond in kind, throwing rocks at their attackers. After fifteen minutes, more soldiers arrived and accompanied the Jewish residents as they left Hebron by foot, while the Arabs continued their rock throwing.
Engaging in rock throwing is forbidden on the Sabbath and is only permitted when it is necessary to protect lives.
“We were deeply disturbed,” the source told Breaking Israel News. “It is shameful to watch our soldiers who are not permitted to respond to an attack on Jews by Arabs.”
“The Arabs saw themselves as being victorious when Israel removed the security measures from the Temple Mount,” Yishai Fleisher, International Spokesman for the Jewish Community in Hebron, told Breaking Israel News. “This has emboldened them to attack us.”
“This is a recurring tactic by the Arabs, and it is successful in the media,” Fleisher said. “They attack us, baiting us until we have no choice but to respond. When we finally respond, they blame us. This is what happened on the Temple Mount when they killed two policemen. This is the Jihadist tactic used to goad us into war in Gaza. This is what we face every day in Hebron, but we will not back down.”
In fact, the incident was reported in the Palestinian press as a Jewish attack on Arab houses.
— Shehab News (@ShehabAgencyEn) August 4,
International Solidarity Movement (ISM), a pro-Palestinian organization, posted a video of the confrontation. The captions in the video claim that incident was a settler-initiated attack on the Palestinians, a claim that is not substantiated by the video.
ISM claims to be dedicated to non-violent protests, though it has been accused of human rights abuses and aiding terrorist groups.
Maan News, a Palestinian news source, reported that the Palestinian attackers claimed the Israelis attacked Palestinian houses in the neighborhood. The Palestinians had reported their allegations to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Israeli police.
Since the incident occurred on the Jewish Sabbath, no Jews videoed the events.
On Friday, a group of approximately 70 hikers from the town of Halamish was attacked by rock-throwing Arabs as they entered the town of Jibya.