14 Dec. 2017
Ramallah, Palestinian Territories
Torokman was on assignment near the Jewish settlement of Beit El, close to the Palestinian hub city of Ramallah, on Dec 11, 2017 where protests were underway against U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Hundreds turned out, as they had done for days following Trump's announcement. Some burnt tires, others hurled stones at Israeli troops, all oblivious to the surprise military move that awaited them. "The undercover personnel were posing as Palestinian protesters and were standing behind the stone-throwers," said Torokman, who has covered clashes in the region for nearly two decades. "All of a sudden, they started to fire their pistols into the air and throw sound grenades at the same time." The din of the grenades and guns caused panic among the protesters. Torokman saw eight Israeli personnel, wearing masks fashioned from Arab headdresses or the Palestinian flag, leap into action and detain protesters. He kept photographing, thereby capturing the moment as an undercover agent grappling with a protester swung round, briefly pointing his gun directly at Torokman. "He shouted at me and told me to go away," said Torokman, who described the atmosphere as terrifying. "I heeded his order for my own safety and I quickly moved away." REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman/File photo TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY. SEARCH "TOROKMAN UNDERCOVER" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.