Foiled car-ramming or frustrated driver? Protesters illegally blocking Israel’s roads play victim, get violent

Demonstrators illegally blocking roads violently attack drivers, claim that motorist attempting to avoid them was trying to mow them down.

By World Israel News Staff

Organizers of a demonstration against potential reforms to Israel’s judicial system claimed Thursday that they were nearly the victims of a car-ramming attack – but video footage of the incident tells a different story.

Dozens of protesters blocked the Beit Yehoshua junction, north of Tel Aviv, on Thursday morning. Traffic came to a complete standstill for several minutes, and security footage shows a small sedan driving onto a traffic island, where some demonstrators were standing.

זה נהיה אלים: תיעוד – רכב עולה על אי תנועה ודוהר לעבר מפגינים בצומת בשרון
(אורלי אלקלעי)

— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) March 16, 2023

The driver maneuvers slowly on the island, as if considering moving onto the other side of traffic and making a U-turn, and then comes to a crawl a reasonable distance before where a throng of demonstrators are gathered.

The driver is seen waiting for protesters to clear the island or the roadway. When that doesn’t happen, the driver slowly inches forward, until the demonstrators make way, and then drives off the island and proceeds down the highway.

No protesters were reported injured in the incident, and video footage does not show the car making physical contact with any of the demonstrators.

Nevertheless, organizers claimed that the driver had attempted to run them over. In a statement, the Israeli police said they had tracked down the driver.

A resident of Netanya in his 40s, the driver said he had not intended to hurt the protesters and was simply trying to drive around them. He was questioned under caution and then released.

Notably, blocking traffic in an intersection or roadway is a criminal offense in Israel.

In a separate incident circulating on social media from Tel Aviv late Thursday afternoon, a frustrated taxi driver is seen honking at demonstrators illegally blocking a main road in the city.

ההפגנות נגד הרפורמה המשפטית | אירוע חריג בתל אביב: נהג מונית יצא וריסס גז פלפל על המפגינים – והופל לרצפה@lirankog

— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) March 16, 2023

He eventually leaves the vehicle and attempts to pepper-spray demonstrators. The protesters grab the driver, who appears to be in his 50s, and violently throw him onto the asphalt.

Similar footage from another incident in Tel Aviv on Thursday morning depicts another driver, who also appears to be an older man in his 60s, clashing with demonstrators who were blocking a street.

עימותים קשים בהפגנה בטיילת בתל אביב פינת ארלוזורוב | עדכונים שוטפים >>>

— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) March 16, 2023

After leaving his vehicle with what protesters claim was pepper spray, but appears to be a can of air duster, the man is attacked by demonstrators who tackle him to the ground, bloodying him.

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