Israel Police forces were documented using violent force against left-wing demonstrators outside the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah on Friday, with videos on Twitter showing at least one woman being thrown to the ground by a police commander.
The videos, shared on Twitter by left-wing activist Eyal (identified only by his first name), were accompanied by a message to Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev, asking him if he was "proud to be leading a mob," and a photo of a person, who he alleged was himself, being held on the floor in a choke hold by what appears to be members of the Israeli security forces.
.@omerbarlev שר ביטחון הפנים היקר, הנה שוטר שלך מטיח את הראש שלי ברצפה וחונק אותי רק כי החזקתי דגל פלסטין קטנטן. מדיניות שלכאורה הורית להפסיק. אתה גאה בכך שאתה מוביל חבורת אספסוף שבגללה אני עכשיו במיון? pic.twitter.com/7fPaD0n0gX— אייל (@eyal6699) September 24, 2021
In the tweet, Eyal states that he was thrown to the floor and held in a choke hold by a police officer due to his refusal to stop waving a Palestinian flag during the protest outside Sheikh Jarrah. He added that he had been sent to the emergency room following the violence carried out against him.
An additional video shared by the same account shows Israel Police commander Shahar Mahsomi pull a woman, Eyal's mother, by the back of her shirt and drag her to the ground where she fell hard on her back. She also visibly had a cast and sling on her arm, which also hit the ground as he pulled her.
The replies to the video, which gained over 4,200 views, also direct blame to Bar Lev, with one person replying that "[Amir] Ohana's days are over, and so the expectation is that the poor culture of the Israel Police will be over as well."
@omerbarlev אנחנו, מצביעך, בוחנים היטב איך הגוף האלים והנחות הזה שנמצא היום תחת אחריותך מתנהג. ימי אוחנה חלפו והציפיה שהתרבות העלובה של משטרת ישראל תחלוף גם— MGozlan (@MGozlan1974) September 24, 2021
Former public security minister Amir Ohana often drew criticism for the alleged use of violent force by the police under his command.
Another reply called on Labor leader Merav Michaeli, asking why a minister belonging to her party is apparentely ignoring the use of violence against protesters.
"Is that why you entered the government, to give support to the police who hurt women?"
The issue of violence being carried out by security forces in Israel has become an increasingly visible topic in recent weeks.
Earlier this month, members of an IDF unit stationed in the South Hebron Hills were caught on video confronting a group of Combatants for Peace protesters, and pushing a man with such force that he fell down the low hill, and ended up requiring surgery, such was the extent of the damage to his face.
In the same incident, a former IDF commander protesting with the group was forced into a choke hold.
Using force against civilians does not seem to be limited to protests and demonstrations, however. In August, Israel Police officers were documented in a Tiberias mall restraining a man by throwing him to the ground after he refused to wear a mask in accordance with Health Ministry coronavirus regulations.