Israeli Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara will formally charge Knesset member Ofer Cassif (Hadash) for assaulting a police officer in the Palestinian occupied territories last year, Zo Haderech reported Tuesday. The Israel Police and State Prosecutor’s Office had previously recommended that Cassif, a leading member of the Communist Party of Israel be prosecuted over the May 2022 incident.
MK Ofer Cassif during a demonstration against the far-right government at Horev Center, Haifa, May 2023 (Photo: Zo Haderech)
The lawmaker is alleged to have struck a police officer in the head after being prevented from participating in a demonstration against a Supreme Court ruling ordering the evacuation of Palestinian villages on Mount Hebron. Occupation forces preparing for the eviction had restricted the flow of traffic and declared various locations in the area “closed military zones.” Nevertheless, a big Palestinian-Israeli demonstration took place, during which a Border Police officer told Cassif that he could not access it with his vehicle.
Cassif has denied attacking the officer, but police are said to be in possession of evidence backing the charge. “I hope that we can clarify in court how completely different the reality is than how they are represented in the indictment. I still hope the court will find MK Cassif innocent,” his lawyer, Daniel Haklai, commented on Tuesday. Cassif’s attorney added, “We have received the news that our claims during the hearing held by the Attorney General were rejected. We respect the decision even though we disagree with it.”