MK asks: Why aren’t violent left-wing protesters criminally charged?

Despite blocking highways and physically attacking police officers, not a single criminal charge has been filed against any person arrested during the anti-government protests, according to recent report.

By Adina Katz, World Israel News

Following an incident in which Energy Minister Israel Katz was repeatedly spat on by left-wing protesters, MK Keti Shitrit (Likud) questioned why violent protesters opposed to judicial reform and the current government are not facing criminal indictments for their behavior.

“It is unbelievable that there are no arrests and no investigation and indictments against those violent bullies who call for rebellion and spit on MKs and ministers,” Shitrit said during an interview with Radio Kol Chai on Tuesday morning.

The lawmaker noted that during the evacuation of Jewish communities from Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip 18 years ago, security forces rounded up right-wing protesters and kept them incarcerated for long periods of time.

“I would like to remind everyone of the girls who spent months in detention over their behavior during the [2005] Disengagement,” she said. “What message are we conveying?”

Protesters are essentially granted carte blanche to stalk and intimidate members of the ruling right-wing coalition, she said.

“They honk horns in our ears, they harass families of public officials. It is impossible. We have reached a point of no return.”

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Sheetreet stressed that the “police and the justice system need to do some soul-searching” regarding what she said was a double-standard in the treatment of protesters, based on their political views.

In late May, Israeli police brutally beat religiously observant Jewish protesters who were peacefully demonstrating against missionaries who were holding an event aimed at converting Jews to Christianity.

A recent report by Channel 14 News found that while some individual protesters were arrested for blatantly violating the law, such as attacking police officers and blocking major highways, not a single criminal indictment has been filed against participants in left-wing demonstrations.

At the time of the report in early June, the news outlet found that 92 out of 96 protesters arrested in recent weeks were released within hours of being detained. Just four arrestees were held for more than a few days.

Notably, not a single criminal charge has been filed against any person arrested during the protests.

“During the disengagement period, the [police and prosecutors’ office ] acted like a fearsome tiger and filed hundreds of indictments for blocking roads at lightning speed, including requests for detaining arrestees [and not releasing them from incarceration] until the end of the [criminal] proceedings,” said Minister for the Development of the Periphery, the Negev and the Galilee Yitzhak Wasserlauf.

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“Now, they’re taking a cat nap and not making any effort to produce even a semblance of an iota of some kind of enforcement.”