Joint List Leader to Be Probed for ‘Assaulting’ Racist Lawmaker

Joint List leader, MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash) is expected to be investigated by Israeli police for allegedly assaulting a racist lawmaker, Itamar Ben Gvir, in October, Haaretz reported. The incident occurred outside the hospital room of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Miqdad Qawasmeh, at Kaplan hospital in Rehovot. According to Haaretz, “MK Odeh is expected to be questioned under caution as a criminal suspect.”

The confrontation took place at the hospital when Odeh went to offer his support to Qawasmeh, who was 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.

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)

Ben Gvir is a follower of the late racist Rabbi Meir Kahane. He was elected to the Israeli parliament in March 2021. In December, Ben Gvir was caught on video pulling out and waving a gun at two Arab parking attendants in Tel Aviv.