Israeli Youths Attack Left-wing Activist at Netanyahu's Likud Event, Witnesses Say

Foreign journalist who witnessed the attack says he's never seen such behavior outside the territories or near settlements

Clashes outside Netanyahu's election conference in Netanya, Saturday 15 February 2020

Three youths assaulted a left-wing activist with an iron rod outside an election campaign conference of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party in central Israel, according to several witnesses who were at the scene.

Itay Nevo, 33, said youths attacked him with an iron rod in the central city of Netanya during a demonstration that took place during a Likud conference attended by the premier. Nevo, who filed a complaint with the police, said they broke two of his teeth. 

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Clashes developed at the scene, with Likud supports shouting at left-wing activists who demonstrated outside the conference yelling: "Go to Gaza," and "Am Yisrael Chai."

Nevo was assaulted while police officers, who were monitoring the demonstration, were accompanying left-wing protesters to their vehicles and no longer separating  

Another demonstrator who attended the protest told Haaretz that he was also assaulted. "A brick almost hit me in the face. It was terrible. Suddenly, three guys came out of one of the alleys holding an iron rod and hurled a brick at us. One man attacked me, the rest were looking for Nevo, and punched him in the face."

A foreign journalist who witnessed the attack told Haaretz that "I've seen such behavior in the territories or near settlements, but I've never seen somebody being beat up with an iron rod in Netanya."   

In December, Pnina Refael, a 70-year-old left-wing demonstrator, was attacked in Jerusalem. Refael and other protesters filed a complaint with the police, and the case remains pending.

Refael said she was attacked again on Saturday with a flagpole. "The man who hit me told me he wished I would get cancer because I said bad things about Netanyahu," adding that Saturday evening "was a most violent, we haven't experienced something like this."