Police brutality or animal cruelty? Woman hit with whip after endangering police horse

Protester who was struck with riding crops conducts media interviews from the hospital while sitting in a wheelchair, despite the fact that she was not hit on her lower body, back, or legs.

By Adina Katz, World Israel News

An anti-judicial reform protester who illegally blocked Ayalon Highway and refused to obey police instructions to leave the area on Saturday evening claimed she was the victim of police brutality after she was hit with a riding crop by a police officer atop a horse.

But video from the scene and injuries to the horse tell a different story, backing up the officer’s claim that he struck the woman after she endangered the animal.

“I feel very bad, the police who are supposed to protect me are attacking me,” Yael Reuveni, the woman involved in the incident, told Ynet.

“I was on Ayalon [Highway] and started walking back up [to the street,] when suddenly, a police officer on a horse came up to me,” she claimed.

She said that she ended up “trapped between two horse-mounted policemen” and that they randomly began repeatedly whipping her in an unprovoked attack.

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However, video from the event shows that Reuveni did not obey police instructions and was facing the horse, rather than away from the officers and in the direction of protesters leaving the highway. From the video, it also appears that Reuveni was struck just once by the officer.

An additional video from a different angle also shows that a cardboard sign and flag Reuveni was holding made contact with the horse numerous times, though she claimed this was an attempt to protect herself.

Reuveni conducted media interviews from Ichilov Hospital while sitting in a wheelchair, despite the fact that she was struck in the arm and not her lower body, back, or legs.

In videos from the scene after she was hit, Reuveni can clearly be seen continuing to walk away from the highway.

Considering that Reuveni was hit on her arm, it’s highly implausible that the incident rendered her wheelchair-bound, as is visually suggested in her media interview.

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“After giving the order to disperse the protesters in Ayalon, while warning them that this was an illegal demonstration and that force would be used, two protesters waved protest signs and a flag on a [sharp] stick at the head of a police horse, in a way that endangered the horse, the rider and the protesters themselves,” police said in a statement.

“The rider drove the demonstrator away from the horse while using reasonable force.”

Public Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said that he would investigate the matter and ask Tel Aviv District Commander Ami Eshed for clarification regarding the incident.