The scuffle was filmed after an Israeli Defence Soldier attempted to detain a young boy for allegedly throwing stones outside the West Bank village Nabi Saleh, north of Ramallah.
The soldier is filmed pinning the screaming boy, whose arm is in a cast, to the ground. Soon after Palestinian women and girls arrive and try to fight the soldier off the boy, including biting him on the hand at one point.
Then local Palestinians and international activists confront the soldier towards the end of the struggle. Eventually the soldier releases the boy and he leaves, throwing down a canister of tear gas as he is moved away by another soldier.
An Israeli army spokesman told the Haaretz newsgroup that there was “a violent disturbance of the peace in Nabi Saleh, in which Palestinians threw stones at IDF forces that were in the place.
“The youth who was photographed was identified by the lookout force as a stone-thrower, and because of this it was decided to detain him. At the time of the arrest, a violent provocation by a number of Palestinians developed, including women and children. In light of the violent altercation, the commander decided to not to go ahead with the detention.”
Israel has come under intense international criticism over its settlement activities, which are regarded as illegal under international law. In the West Bank alone, the number of settlers has more than doubled since 1995 to over 350,000.