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.
- Two held in assaults on anti-Netanyahu protesters in central Israel, one for the second time
- Four months in, dozens of attacks on Israeli protesters but only one indictment
- Netanyahu supporter arrested for pepper spray attack on protesters
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.