“Suspend the brutal border policeman”

Wednesday, March 30, 2022, 15:27 On the night of Tuesday, March 29, at a demonstration in the Shomron protesting the Bnei Brak murder spree, Eran Hariri, a border policeman, attacked one of the protesters (see video below), pulling him by his beard and payot. The following day, Honenu sent a letter on behalf of the protester to Police Commissioner Ya’akov Shabtai demanding that Harari be suspended immediately. Honenu also sent a letter to the Police Investigation Unit (PIU) demanding that an investigation into the incident be opened immediately and that Harari be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Border policeman attacks protester; Video credit: Free use

The letter to Police Commissioner Shabtai (summarized below) describes the unfolding of events:

“Last night, a protest was held near Yitzhar Junction [on Route 60]. The protesters, among them the complainant, attempted to reach Yitzhar Junction in order to hold a protest at a central and conspicuous location. On their way to the traffic circle [at the junction], the protesters were blocked by border policemen who prevented them from reaching the junction. The complainant tried to cross the street and bypass the policemen, but was blocked by them. At this stage, an argument began between the complainant and the policemen, who demanded that he distance himself from the site and tried to shove him away.

“Suddenly and without any exchange of words, the border policeman [Harari] grabbed the complainant by the beard and pulled him very forcibly. The complainant cried out in pain, but the policeman continued to pull his beard and also his payot as he dragged him to the sidewalk. There is no need to describe the great pain and suffering caused to someone when they are pulled by their hair. And there is also no need to describe the humiliation a religious man feels when he is degraded by having his beard and payot, which have religious significance to him, pulled.”

The letter concluded with a demand that Police Commissioner Shabtai suspend the border policeman:

“In light of the above, the Police Commissioner is asked to make use of the authority granted to him and to order the immediate suspension of the violent border policeman, either because an investigation has been opened against him by the PIU or because the horrific brutality seen in the video clip proves that he is not suitable for a job with the police.”

Honenu’s Eladi Wiesel: “This was a serious incident in which a border policeman acted without any authority or justification and illegally used force to cause great pain and humiliation to a protester. A Jew brutally dragged by his beard and payot is a shocking sight reminiscent of dark eras of the Jewish people’s past. There is no reason for a Jew to be humiliated by the police in a painful, and degrading act such as this in the State of Israel. The police must put their house in order and remove policemen who illegally use force.”

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