Police officer Ido Katzir was indicted Sunday for hitting a number of Haredim during a protest in Jerusalem against the IDF draft.
Superintendent Katzir, an officer in the community policing unit in the Lev Habirah station in Jerusalem, was charged with two counts of assault.
According to the indictment, Katzir kicked protesters as they were lying on the ground. In another instance, he led a man to the side, where he proceeded to hit him.
Katzir grabbed a protester he mistakenly thought was the one who shouted the slur, led him to the side and hit him in the face. The victim removed his glasses to protect them and then Katzir hit him again shouting: “Did you get it?!”
A second incident in which Katzir is accused of using unjustified force happened in September 2017, at the same location. The protest was in response to the arrest of a Haredi yeshiva student accused of desertion from the IDF.
During the protest, roads were blocked and the police were called to reopen them using force. The protesters resisted the police’s calls and refused to leave their position; they then proceeded to push, kick and throw objects at the officers, including stones and bottles. Katzir was wounded during the incident.
During that protest, Katzir approached one protester and kicked him in the back as he was lying on the road. He then kicked another protester.
“My client categorically denies the charges attributed to him in the indictment, as he did during his interrogation at the Police Investigations Division," said Katzir's lawyer Itzik Cohen.
"He is a decent and honest officer who will prove in court that he is not the officer who beat the complainant in the first incident described in the indictment. With regard to the charges attributed to him in the violent demonstration described in the second part, it will be proven in court that he acted lawfully and the interpretations given by the investigations unit to events are illogical.”
The police said in response, "Upon receipt of the material from the investigative unit, the officer will be dealt with using administrative and disciplinary measures as soon as possible."
Attorney Itamar Ben Gvir, representing the victim, said: “This is a first step but not enough. The police officer must be removed. Anyone who harms civilians by no fault of their own cannot serve as a patrol officer. A civil suit was filed against the officer for NIS 75,000 and the State Prosecutor's Office is supposed to respond regarding whether it will represent him."