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Israeli Soldier Assaults Palestinian Human Rights Defender in Front of The New Yorker Correspondent in Viral Video
(Hebron, Occupied West Bank) On late Monday February 13th, an Israeli soldier assaulted UN-Recognized Human Rights Defender Issa Amro on the closed Shuhada Street in occupied Hebron. The assault, which was caught on camera in a viral video, happened in front of The New Yorker Correspondent Lawrence Wright, who claimed the Israeli military misrepresented the incident.
An Israeli soldier was filmed grabbing Amro by the throat and throwing him violently to the ground, then proceeding to kick him before another soldier intervened. Wright tweeted the video, which went viral. The Israeli army claimed that Amro provoked the incident. In response, Wright wrote: “The IDF is misrepresenting what led to assault on peace activist Issa Amro in Hebron yesterday. The soldier initiated the encounter. Amro did not curse or interfere only asked that he call the commander. Nothing to justify the attack that followed.”
Amro stated that he had been giving a tour to journalist Wright when an Israeli soldier approached them: “The soldier insisted that we delete what we filmed. We tried to leave but the soldier grabbed me and took me inside Shuhada street and kicked me and threatened me. No one came and the soldier refused to call his commander. Suddenly, the soldier choked me with his arm. I said “don’t touch me” and he shoved me violently down to the harsh concrete ground and kicked me. I fell with a lot of pain. I felt dizzy.” Amro stated that he called for an ambulance but received no medical assistance. Two videos leading up to the incident shows the Israeli soldier repeatedly telling Amro to “delete the video” of the tour and shows the soldier grabbing Amro and taking him to Shuhada street, detaining him.
Israel’s National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir tweeted a statement in support of the attacker. In response, Amro stated, “Last time I filmed an Israeli soldier brutally beating up an activist, Israeli media reported that the soldier received large money donations in support of his violence.” Amro stated. “I would not be surprised if this soldier will now receive money too. This is the reality under Ben Gvir’s extremist army.”
The assault is the most recent incident of the bout of attacks against Palestinians and Amro in the wake of the last Israeli elections. Amro has faced threats, beatings and arbitrary detentions since filming an assault of an Israeli activist in late 2022. Issa Amro is the director of the charity Friends of Hebron and the co-founder and former coordinator of the Palestinian community group Youth Against Settlements. Amro is formally recognized as a Human Rights Defender by the UN, EU, and the U.S. State Department.
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