Government minister and MK Avi Dichter was struck in the head by a flag-wielding protester Thursday morning as he walked to his car, surrounded by security personnel.
מפגינת שמאל מכה את השר דיכטר בראשו עם דגל ישראל.
לפיד בתגובה: החזרנו את הדגל
ציון נאנוס: מחאה מרגשת pic.twitter.com/wheHEKsFHD
— ינון מגל (@YinonMagal) March 23, 2023
Dichter continued walking and entered the vehicle without further incident — but the attack on a government minister and former head of the Shin Bet by the anarchists was shocking to many.
Israel Police arrested the attacker — a woman — shortly after.
“I strongly condemn the attack on Minister Avi Dichter by a left-wing activist and demand that the leaders of the opposition immediately stop the anarchy, violence and incitement towards elected officials,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a fierce statement.
“I demand that the police and the prosecutor’s office take immediate and firm action against anyone who lays hands on elected officials, before it is too late,” he said.
Noting that Dichter headed the Shin Bet (General Security Service) during the Second Intifada, Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana likewise slammed the assault on Dichter with “the flag of the state that he worked and works to protect all his life.
“I expect all elected officials, wherever they may be, to condemn the event and calm the spirits, for the sake of the entire country,” Ohana said.
Thousands of anarchists took to the streets across the country in what protest organizers called a “Day of Paralysis” — intended to disrupt, as much as possible, the daily lives of average Israelis in hopes of bullying the elected government into abandoning its planned judicial reform.
The Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv was one of the main arteries the anarchists managed to shut down, using vehicles with nonstop honking and protesters waving flags and brandishing picket signs.