Ben-Gvir Demands Shin Bet Investigation After Leftists Attack Rally

YERUSHALAYIM -
Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Right-wing activist Itamar Ben-Gvir on Thursday was demanding that the Shin Bet launch a full investigation into the doings of the “violent left” after he and others were attacked Wednesday night at a rally for IDF soldier Elor Azaria, the IDF soldier accused of killing Al Fatah a-Sharif, the terrorist who tried to stab IDF soldiers on Purim morning in Chevron. He was arrested by the army after footage surfaced which purports to show the soldier shooting at the terrorist after he had already been neutralized by other soldiers.

Thousands of people participated in a march Wednesday night in Tel Aviv expressing support for Azarya. The march proceeded in an orderly manner from Habima Square, aiming to reach Defense Ministry Headquarters, about two kilometers away, where several speakers had been scheduled.

But when they reached the site of the rally, dozens of participants – including Ben-Gvir – were attacked by five black-clad suspects who began spraying tear gas at them. The five were arrested by police after a short chase, but several participants in the rally, including Ben-Gvir, required care at a nearby hospital.

In a statement, the Otzma Yehudit group, which Ben-Gvir directs, said that the “attack by leftist thugs is the crossing of a red line. If this was the other way around, with the right attacking the left, all the great democracy activists would be in shock. We demand that police throw the book at these suspects. We will not rest until Elor is free. Bullying will not succeed.”

Ben-Gvir also demanded that the Attorney General ban the group Antifa, an Israeli organization associated with the German leftist group Antifaschistische Aktion, which expressed support for the attack. In a letter, Ben-Gvir wrote that members of right-wing groups who acted in this manner “would no doubt be behind lock and key for days. The Shin Bet has been spending most of its energy following 15-year-olds who run around with magic markers and scrawl comments, but does nothing about this. It would be very worthy for the government to act to ban this group, which attacks Israelis who march in support of an IDF soldier.”