BETHLEHEM, West Bank - Abdelraham Hassan, 23, Was At The Frontline Of Protests In Bethlehem When What Looked Like Six Palestinian Protesters Pulled Out Handguns And Moved To Grab The Young Männer Surrounding Them.
It immediately became clear that the six men, wearing T-shirts and jeans with scarves and masks covering their faces, were in fact undercover Israeli agents.
"It was really quiet around the time of the protest - [the Israeli soldiers] weren't shooting tear gas or bullets or anything," Hassan said. "There were around 30 guys at the front during the calm [period]. Then out of nowhere six of them pulled out guns and everyone ran."
Hassan was taking photos, not filming, when the chaos erupted. Before he could begin filming he said one the undercover agents came up to him and another journalist he was standing with and held a gun up to their heads, telling them to leave.
"He didn't have time to deal with us, and we kind of just felt like we weren't their mission. They were there to arrest the protesters, and they'd already had one on the ground, so I just started filming," Hassan said. "But it was terrifying: we know that these guys, undercover agents, have orders that allow them to shoot to kill under any circumstances."
The undercover agents managed to detain one young man. Protesters initially thought they had caught three people, but the two others got away.
One of the young men who was almost detained, struggled and managed to get away with a red scarf one of the agents had been wearing. Protesters passed the mundane-looking scarf around, the only tangible evidence of what had just happened on their street.