Ben Ari climbs onto vehicle
Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Office

IDF: MK Ben Ari was trying to provoke us

Army defends arrest of right-wing MK after he tried to block Border Guard vehicle transporting settler detainees

MK Michael Ben Ari (National Union) was accused by IDF officials Monday of purposefully provoking soldiers in the West Bank, causing them to place him under arrest in a military transport vehicle.



"The MK wanted to create a provocation near Yitzhar, and his actions disrupted the operations of security personnel attempting to clear the riots in the area," one official told Ynet.


However Ben Ari claims that footage taped at the scene clearly shows that he was violently removed from the hood of the military vehicle onto which he had climbed and attacked by a number of Border Guard officers.


The MK says his arrest by the officers is a clear violation of the Knesset's immunity laws. Extreme right-wing activist Itamar Ben-Gvir, who was present at the time of the incident, has also filed a police complaint claiming he was attacked.


Ben Ari claims he arrived at Yitzhar in an attempt "to see why children were arrested there". Footage from the incident shows him clambering onto the front fender of a vehicle used to transport settler youths and refusing the soldier's requests to get off while yelling, "You can't touch me."


After a lengthy period of arguing the Border Guard officers pulled him to the ground. The MK says he was pushed and hit across the face. While on the ground, he refused to get up and clear the road and was taken up by the soldiers and placed inside the vehicle.


Ben Ari later sought medical treatment at Beilinson Hospital and demanded that an investigation committee probe the conduct of officers present at the scene.


An IDF official told Ynet that Monday's settler violence had prompted the Border Guard's presence in the West Bank throughout the day. "The MK was asked by the forces to leave the scene. He refused and chose to prevent a security vehicle from clearing out the detainees. He was therefore taken away by Border Guard forces," he said.


פרסום ראשון: 06.01.09, 20:00
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