When the two politicians saw each other, a verbal and physical scuffle ensued.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
Two Israeli parliamentarians found themselves in the same hallway in Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot on Tuesday, with both men aiming to make an appearance at the bedside of the hospital’s most notable patient, hunger-striking Hamas operative Miqdad Qawasmeh.
But while one MK was there ostensibly to show his support for the terrorist, the other was there to confront him. When the two politicians saw each other, a verbal and physical scuffle ensued.
MK Ayman Odeh, displeased to see MK Itama Ben-Gvir in the corridor outside of Qasmeh’s hospital room, struck Ben-Gvir in an unprovoked physical attack.
Earlier on Tuesday, Ben Gvir announced via Twitter that he intended to visit Qawasmeh to “check how after months without food, he is miraculously still alive.”
In a video widely distributed on social media, Odeh is seen yelling at Ben Gvir in Hebrew, telling him to stay away from Qawasmeh’s room.
“Who are you to tell me that I can’t come in?” Ben Gvir asks. The two men briefly exchange words. Odeh then makes his way to Ben Gvir, calls him a “little terrorist,” and in an unprovoked physical escalation, pushes him.
The shove sends Ben Gvir’s kippah flying. Ben Gvir attempts to push Odeh in retaliation, but the two men are quickly separated by masses of hospital staff and political aides in the hallway.
הגעתי לבית החולים קפלן, כדי להבין איך המחבל קוואסמה זוכה לתנאים וכבוד מלכים, ואיך אחרי 90 יום בצום הוא עוד לא מת. ומי הגיע להגן עליו ולתקוף אותי? כמובן, איימן עודה. אל תדאגו, לא נשארתי חייב. 2 מחבלים במכה אחת pic.twitter.com/ZKnVGQSO3g
— איתמר בן גביר (@itamarbengvir) October 19, 2021
Odeh, of the Arab Joint List party, recently voiced his solidarity for the six Palestinian security prisoners who escaped from Gilboa Prison.
Itamar Ben-Gvir of the Religious Zionism party has a long history of clashing with Arab lawmakers. Most recently, he engaged in a heated exchange with MK Ahmed Tibi, leading to him being physically removed from the Knesset plenum.
In May, Ben-Gvir was singled out as an “overt racist” by Bernie Sanders in a New York Times op-ed.
“I arrived at Kaplan Medical Center to understand how the terrorist Qawasmeh receives conditions and respect fit for a king, and how after 90 days of fasting he is still not dead,” Ben Gvir wrote on Twitter after the incident.
“And who came to defend him and attack me? Of course, Ayman Odeh.”
“Convicted terrorist Ben Gvir tried to harm the patient,” Odeh explained on his Twitter account. “I blocked it. Kahanism will not pass.”
While Ben Gvir has been convicted of criminal offenses, he has never been convicted of terrorism.