Culture Minister Miri Regev (Likud) condemned on Sunday the assault of an Israeli soldier at the hands of Arab women and children during violent riots Friday in Nabi Saleh in Samaria.
"I was shocked to see the video this morning of Palestinians hitting an IDF soldier," Regev declared. "It cannot be that our soldiers will be sent on missions with their hands tied behind their backs. It's simply a disgrace!"
The minister stressed that anyone who tries to harm Israeli citizens or IDF soldiers "needs to know he's responsible" for his actions.
"We must immediately order that a soldier under attack be able to return fire. Period," Regev asserted, calling on Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon (Likud) to put an end to the humiliation and "change [military] policy to permit opening fire immediately."
The video shows IDF soldiers responding to a riot on Friday, with one soldier detaining a juvenile rock-thrower. However, the situation quickly escalates as he is gradually surrounded by a crowd, largely consisting of screeching women and children, who begin beating him.
The soldier calls for backup, but only after some time does another soldier arrive to disperse the crowd and extricate his colleague – who is forced to leave the rock-thrower behind.
A military official said that "the soldier was caught amid the provocations of the protestors, some of them minors, and therefore the images were published in the media."
"From the moment the senior commander in the area understood there were minors involved, the soldiers tried to disengage contact, but the area had devolved into extreme and violent friction."