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Palestinians protect Israeli policewoman as Jewish settlers clash with farm workers

Palestinians have shielded a female Israeli police officer from attack during clashes in the West Bank.

Jewish settlers had reportedly been attempting to prevent Palestinians from working on farmland sparking unrest.

Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said that the two groups were throwing rocks at each other. When they arrived to break up the clashes, the settlers started throwing rocks at them too.

Shaul Golan, a photographer for Israel's Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, captured the incident at the illegal Israeli settlement of Esh Kodesh on Saturday.

Mr Golan told the Times of Israel:"Amid all the chaos, I saw this female officer. She was really scared. She was abandoned in the field and her so-called enemies were guarding her. I knew right away it was a special moment."

One of the men helping to protect the officer is reported to be Zakaria Sadah, a Palestinian field worker for Israeli human rights organisation Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR).

RHR said that in the picture Sadah (in the blue shirt) can be seen telling Israeli police, who feared the officer may be in danger, not to shoot.

"I said, ‘Don’t shoot, I’ll protect her," Sadah said. Sadah and another Palestinian man stood on each side of the woman, raising their hands.

Together they helped escort the police officer back to the Israeli security forces.

Sadah said that he is now being accused by some Palestinians of being a traitor.

"There are those who are writing against me in the Palestinian social media because we protected a policewoman, as if we’re ‘traitors.’ On the other hand, I see that settlers are attacking me. So you feel you’re under fire from both sides," Sadah told

"I will continue my way. I don’t care what people say or do. For me a person is a person. A life of a person is important. At the same time I protected both the policewoman and Palestinian lives. Both are important to me and I will continue my peace activism."

The image appeared on social media amid increasing tensions between the settlers and Palestinians, following the burning to death of a baby in an attack by Jewish extremists.

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There were no reports of any injuries during the unrest.

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