A Golani Brigade soldier defended a Palestinian man on Friday night in Chevron when a crowd of Jewish youths began beating him.
An initial IDF investigation into the incident found that the youths also assaulted the soldier, who struck back with punches before helping the Palestinian man escape, then called for reinforcements.
An IDF statement said that the youths were believed to be from the Tel Rumeida enclave in Chevron.
Footage of the incident shows a group of Israelis attacking the Palestinian man, later identified as Ibrahim Bader, 31. One of them is seen putting Bader in a headlock as others hit him.
The Golani soldier then runs toward the group, pushing one of the Israelis aside and trying to help Bader out of the headlock. The Jewish youths then turn to the soldier, but he fends them off and extracts Bader, escorting him to safety.
The footage shows the Jewish youths running after the two, again attempting to strike Bader, while the soldier continues to physically shield him.
Bader later told Kan News that he wished to “thank the soldier who helped me and kept them away from me. G-d sent him to save my life.”
The 31-year-old security guard and father of three said he was on his way to work when he was attacked.
“This is exactly who an Israeli solider is expected to act [like] in this type of situation,” a senior Golani officer said.
Security officials added they “expect the leaders of the Jewish community in Chevron to condemn this violence, which does nothing to ease the tension that exists in Judea and Samaria at this time.”
Defense Minister Benny Gantz posted: “The Golani soldier who defended a Palestinian resident of Chevron acted as every IDF soldier and commander is expected to act. The IDF is committed to the safety of civilians in every place it operates, and I trust the ranking commanders in the IDF will investigate the incident in an orderly manner.”
Attorney Itamar Ben Gvir, who is representing the Jewish youths, said that Badar had provoked his clients and was responsible.
“It must be understood that some Chevron Arabs have learned a method, to provoke the Jews and then take photos,” he said, according to Israeli media reports.
Police came Motzoei Shabbos to the homes of the suspects in the attack and issued summonses for the suspects to come for questioning.