Israel's 'Bad Boy' Lawmaker to Face Charges for Assaulting Mayor of Hometown

Likud's Oren Hazan charged with pushing, cursing, threatening mayor of Ariel settlement over family restaurant’s unpaid municipal tax bill

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Israel's 'bad boy' lawmaker Oren Hazan to be indicted for assaulting mayor of his hometown
Israel's 'bad boy' lawmaker Oren Hazan to be indicted for assaulting mayor of his hometownCredit: Lior Mizrahi

Knesset member Oren Hazan will face trial on charges of assaulting and insulting a public servant, and inappropriate conduct in public.

Before announcing the charges, Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit had given Hazan a hearing, but rejected his arguments. The Knesset speaker and chairman of the House Committee were notified of Mendelblit’s decision, so they can start the process of removing Hazan’s immunity.

The origin of the problem is reportedly Ariel city hall’s impounding the bank account of Oren Hazan’s mother, Aviva Hazan, over unpaid municipal taxes owed by the family restaurant.

After this, in 2014 (before he was elected to Knesset), while delivering documents to the director-general of the Ariel municipality over the impounding, Oren Hazan allegedly began to shout at him, saying, “Your mother’s pussy, thieving son of a bitch, I’ll throw you out of here.”

Finding himself ignored, Hazan crowded the director-general – pushing himself against the official, as the draft indictment states. Then, as the director-general climbed the stairs to the conference room, Hazan did it again, pushing him powerfully with his arms and throwing the director-general against the banister, says the draft.

Hazan then allegedly followed the director-general into the conference room, closed the door, and said, “Nobody leaves here.” Then he continued to curse the director-general. At some point he barged into the office of Ariel Mayor Eli Shaviro, who asked him to get out. Hazan refused, replying that he would “take care” of the mayor, meaning he would get him fired.

Under the law, Hazan has 30 days to ask the Knesset to invoke his immunity in this case.

Hazan lawyers Zion Amar and Ephraim Dimri said they were “saddened and shocked” and even “astonished” at the attorney general’s decision to put their client on trial over an argument between two politicians that happened years ago, well before Hazan got elected to the Knesset. They had thought, they wrote, that a case “about to be shelved,” that had just sat there for years, would go away, but it was only after Hazan’s election to the Knesset that the case was resuscitated. The whole case boils down to two politicians exchanging accusations, say the two lawyers, but now that it is about to reach the courts, they are confident Hazan will be found innocent.

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