MKs Odeh & Ben Gvir Clash near Palestinian Hunger Striker’s Ward

A scuffle broke out on Tuesday, October 19, between MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash), leader of Joint List, and racist MK Itamar Ben Gvir of the far-right Religious Zionist Party outside the hospital room of a hunger-striking Palestinian administrative detainee who is being treated in a hospital in central Israel.

MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash, center) confronts racist MK Itamar Ben Gvir of the far-right Religious Zionist Party in a central Israel hospital on Tuesday, October 19. (Television footage)

The confrontation took place at Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot when Odeh went to offer his support to Palestinian prisoner Miqdad Qawasmeh, who is being held without charge and who has been on a hunger strike for nearly three months. Ben Gvir was said to have come to the site to complain to the hospital administration that Qawasmeh was even being treated in an Israeli medical institution.

Footage of the incident shows Odeh physically blocking Ben Gvir from entering the ward where Qawasmeh is being hospitalized. The two lawmakers can be heard trading barbs, with Odeh shouting “You’re a little terrorist. You will not enter. Go away!” at the racist lawmaker. He is then seen pushing Ben Gvir as the latter pressed himself forward towards Qawasmeh’s room. Ben Gvir lunged at Odeh only to be stopped by staff who intervened to separate the pair.

On Wednesday, October 20, the Palestinian Prisoners Society announced that Qawasmeh had been transferred to the hospital’s intensive care unit after a sudden deterioration of his medical condition.