Father of IDF Soldier Attacked by Palestinians Says Proud of Son's Restraint

If women had been hurt, the incident 'would have ended in a completely different way,' father tells Army Radio; Palestinian girl seen on video tells Channel 2 soldier used too much force.

Reuters

The father of the Israeli soldier, seen in a viral video scuffling with several Palestinian women and children during a protest in a West Bank village, said he is proud of his son's conduct during the incident.

"We're very proud of what we've seen, we're proud of the restraint he exhibited, because if women would have been hurt it would have ended in a completely different way, without a doubt," the father, Arnon, told the Army Radio station on Sunday.

The scuffle occurred on Friday, during clashes between security forces and Palestinians near the village of Nabi Saleh. The soldier chased down a minor who he suspected of throwing stones at the forces, but a number of Palestinian women and children attacked him and managed to stop him. A video of the incident was shared on social media and has garnered nearly 2 million views. 

In the Army Radio interview, the father called the incident an "unpleasant provocation," adding that while he doesn't know if the scuffle was planned in advance, "it was no coincidence that there were people and photographers around."

In response to the question whether the incident could have been prevented had the soldier not chased the teen, who, according to witnesses, didn't throw stones, the father said: "It's very easy to sit in the living-room and say what the soldiers ought to have done in that situation, and I won't do that. I'm convinced that the soldiers had the right instructions on what to do, and these things can happen."

The father asked not to comment on the soldier's comrades late reaction to the incident, as seen on the video.

The residents of the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh have been holding weekly protests since December 2009, demanding the rights over a spring taken over by Israeli settlers be returned to them. The terrain surrounding the spring has been declared an archaeological site by the Civil Administration. 

شاهد كيف قام النسوة بضرب جندي احتلالي في قرية النبي صالح قرب رام الله بعد محاولته اعتقال احد الأطفال

Posted by ‎Ramallah City | مدينة رام الله‎ on Friday, August 28, 2015

'A little boy with a broken arm'

Meanwhile, the mother and sister of the Palestinian teen seen on the video spoke out about incident in an interview with the Israeli Channel 2.

"I cannot stand by and see my brother on the verge of death," said the boy's sister, Ahed Tamimi, told Channel 2, adding that the soldier used too much force.

"It's a little boy with a broken arm, what can he possibly do?" Tamimi said.  

The boy's mother, Nariman Tamimi, said: "I'm a mother, if a soldier attacks a small boy and does something to him I'll do everything to release my boy from the soldier's hands."

This is not the first time the Tamimi family has gained international attention due to photographs of confrontations with the Israeli army. In 2012, a photo of Ahed shaking her fist at an Israeli soldier became an international sensation. Thanks to the photo, she has won an award from Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul.

Also on Sunday, Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev commented on the incident on her Facebook page, saying that Israeli soldiers cannot be sent out with their arms "tied behind their backs," adding that soldiers under attack must be allowed to open fire.

"I call on the defense minister to put an end to the humiliation and change the rules of engagement immediately!" Regev wrote.