Givati Brigade soldiers defended their comrades involved in the alleged assault of two foreign journalists in Beit Furik, telling Arutz Sheva the truth is different than what was presented in Israeli and foreign media over Shabbat.
According to official reports, during a demonstration in the Palestinian town near Shechem on Friday, IDF soldiers hit two journalists from Agence France-Presse (AFP) and broke their equipment, all without provocation.
But, according to the Givati Brigade infantry soldiers, the real provocateurs were the two video journalists themselves.
The soldiers claim the AFP photographers began to provoke forces in the area during clashes following the funeral of Ahmed Khatatbeh – a terrorist who was fatally shot after throwing a firebomb at Givati soldiers.
The journalists, Givati soldiers claim, approached the forces patrolling the sensitive area and began to photograph them from only a foot away. The soldiers say the journalists were not beaten, but only repulsed by the troops.
Following the initial report, the IDF suspended the officer commanding the force, a deputy company commander in the Givati Brigade.
A spokesman for the army said that "The IDF sees the incident as grave, and in contradiction of its code of ethics and professional standards." He noted that a full investigation was underway.
Givati soldiers blasted the move, saying: "We regret that the IDF spokesman is in such a hurry to condemn the soldiers in the media without bothering to investigate the provocations of the foreign photographers."
"It is very easy to publish denunciations from air-conditioned rooms in Tel Aviv without understanding all the facts on the ground."