Suspect Arrested for Assaulting anti-Netanyahu Protesters With Fire Extinguisher

In a separate incident in central Israel two weeks ago, a driver allegedly tried to run over protesters

Noa Shpigel
Noa Shpigel
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Documentation of the case, two weeks ago in Pardes Hannah.
Documentation of the case, two weeks ago in Pardes Hannah.Credit: The Black Flag movement
Noa Shpigel
Noa Shpigel

Israeli police arrested a suspect on Thursday for assaulting protesters against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the central town of Pardes Hannah two weeks ago.

The 31-year-old man is suspected of spraying a fire extinguisher at the protesters in a drive-by assault. Police are expected to decide on Friday whether to seek a court approval to keep the suspect in custody.

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Ilan Sharif, one of the protesters, said a car had tried to run over one of the demonstrators in a separate incident that evening. Two days later police had arrested another man, also from Pardes Hannah, suspected of involvement in attacking another demonstrator at an anti-government protest.

The man who was attacked said that 15 Netanyahu supporters had assaulted him and broken his arm as he tried to defend a female protester who was spat at.

On Wednesday, two men were ordered to remain in custody for two days after they had been arrested for allegedly assaulting protesters in the Tel Aviv suburb of Holon the previous day. 

Police investigators say that Osher Gal sprayed tear gas at protesters. Gal initially denied the allegation, but after detectives showed him video of the incident he said that he had acted out of self-defense.

Last week Haaretz reported that four months into the mass demonstrations against Netanyahu and only one person has been indicted for attacking protesters despite the dozens of assaults, some of them filmed. The only indictment so far has been against Felix Eliav, a Sderot resident suspected of attacking a demonstrator with a sharp object.

Demonstrators have told Haaretz that they believe the police are taking sides regarding the protests against Netanyahu’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, against the backdrop of his ongoing corruption trial.

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