Tuesday, August 17, 2021, 11:25 The father of the Golani soldier, Aharon, who was assaulted by Member of Knesset Ahmad Tibi on Shabbat (Saturday, August 14) in Hebron, filed a complaint with the Hebron Police on Sunday. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher is assisting the soldier’s family with realizing their rights as crime victims.
In a publicized video clip of the incident, MK Tibi is seen arriving with a large group of Arabs and walking towards the Jewish Community of Hebron. The soldier, who was stationed at a guard post at the site, approached the group and demanded that nobody pass him, according to orders from his commanders. MK Tibi shouted at the soldier, hit his arms, and created a disturbance at the site. On Sunday, the father of the soldier filed a complaint with the police over the assault on his son.
In the complaint, the father described the incident: “On 14.08.21, in the afternoon, my son was assaulted by MK Ahmad Tibi. There is a video clip that was publicized in which MK Ahmad Tibi is seen with other members of a minority group walking towards a street adjacent to the homes of Jews in Hebron. My son is stationed there on guard duty and according to orders from his commanders anyone who is not a resident or guest of the residents must pass an inspection and be authorized to enter [the street], due to the security situation and the coronavirus [regulations].
“In the video clip my son is seen approaching the group led by MK Ahmad Tibi and demanding that they stop and not pass him. He emphasized this repeatedly. At this point, MK Tibi approached my son in a threatening manner. My son spread out his arms in an attempt to prevent their passage as he repeated his statement that passage was forbidden. At this point, MK Tibi hit my son hard on his arms.”
The father added that MK Tibi insulted his son, and that is an offense to IDF soldiers in general. “Additionally, MK Tibi shouted at my son and called him chatzuf [impudent], and thereby offended and insulted a public servant, a soldier who is serving in the Israeli Defense Forces, the army of all of us. MK Tibi was accompanied by many Arabs, some of whom, according to what I have heard, are terrorists who carried out severe terror attacks. If MK Tibi had succeeded in his plot to pass the site with his group, without authorization, that would have immediately endangered the residents of the site.”
In conclusion, the father wrote, “We hope that there will be a decisive response to the matter, in order to create a deterrent and to clarify that even a member of the Knesset cannot assault soldiers, treat them badly next to terrorists, and take advantage of his diplomatic immunity in order to injure soldiers. What is even more serious is that it was done in public and in front of cameras. I thank you in advance for your serious treatment of the matter. Our soldiers, who give their lives for the security of all of us, must not be abandoned in the field, and the police must defend them against law-breakers, even if they happen to bear the title ‘Member of Knesset’.”
Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher wrote a letter to the Hebron Police: “There is no doubt that the suspect attempted to disturb my client in the line of duty by forcibly entering an area which is under surveillance and is extremely sensitive in terms of security. The suspect brazenly assaulted a soldier and also humiliated and insulted him in public. Although the suspect is a member of the Knesset, his action is clearly a criminal offense and an attempt to harm the security of the area.
“The soldier, due to his operational duties, has not yet filed a complaint. However, because the criminal assault was publicized and is well-known, the police are obligated to conduct an investigation of the suspect. Moreover, the father of the soldier filed a complaint against the suspect after the soldier spoke with him and told him about the serious assault he had experienced. I demand a prompt investigation of the suspect for assault and insulting a public servant, and I demand that criminal proceedings against the suspect be implemented immediately.”
Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher: “Assaults on IDF soldiers fulfilling their duty of defending Israeli citizens. A member of Knesset who dares to assault a soldier for no reason is a serious danger to all Israeli citizens. We demand revocation of the assailant’s diplomatic immunity and that he be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Any other response constitutes injury to IDF soldiers and to the security of the State of Israel.”
On Monday, the police informed the father that they would summon his son to give testimony and file a complaint, and they did, thereby launching an investigation into the assault. Bleicher: “I am pleased with the quick progress regarding the complaint and launching an investigation. There must be no tolerance for a member of Knesset who assaults, humiliates, and insults an IDF soldier. I call for an immediate investigation of MK Tibi and everyone else in the group who created the disturbance. There were dozens of rioters surrounding MK Tibi, some of whom are terror activists, who arrived at a site which is forbidden to them and created a disturbance. They are abettors to offenses which MK Tibi prima facie committed. Every rioter must know that there is a heavy price for injuring our soldiers.”
Father of Golani soldier Aharon; Video credit: Honenu