Prominent Anti-asylum Seeker Activist Arrested After Confrontation at South Tel Aviv School

Bar Peleg
Bar Peleg
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Sheffi Paz during a protest against asylum seekers in South Tel Aviv, October 27, 2019
Sheffi Paz during a protest against asylum seekers in South Tel Aviv, October 27, 2019Credit: Ofer Vaknin
Bar Peleg
Bar Peleg

A prominent anti-asylum seeker activist was arrested on Monday morning along with another person on suspicion of attacking a security guard at the entrance to a school for foreign children in south Tel Aviv.

The police said that Sheffi Paz and the other suspect are suspected of pepper-spraying the guard at the Keshet-Gvanim school. But Paz says it was the guard who sprayed them after parents of students at the schools attacked her.

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Since the beginning of the school year two weeks ago, Paz and other activists have come to the school, which is identified with the community of foreign workers in south Tel Aviv, to photograph the children and their parents.

The children entered the school confused because Paz and the other activist who was with her photographed them at the entrance to the school, a source told Haaretz. They said the activists called out to them and they were very shaken.

Itamar Barkai, the lawyer who represents the two, said this is another case of the police harassing Paz and south Tel Aviv activists. As usual, the police awarded a prize to the attackers and arrested the victims, he said. “There are a large number of security cameras that filmed the incident, but the police didn’t even bother to collect them and of course the attackers are free.”

A mother of one of the students who witnessed the incident told Haaretz that the activist arrested with Paz attacked her after she tried to stop the two of them from photographing her.

“I walked with my child to the school entrance, and the principal was at the entrance and she received me and my child. Sheffi stood and photographed us. I told her not to photograph me and put my hand to hide her telephone, and the young man who was with her sprayed pepper spray at me,” she said. At that point the guard arrived and intervened, the mother said.

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