US Secret Service agent returned to US after attacking woman in Jerusalem

Agent's Secret Service access blocked, flown back to US pending investigation • Woman was physically attacked by one agent, released by other

 US president Joe Biden arrives for a visit at the President's Residence in Jerusalem, on July 14, 2022. (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
US president Joe Biden arrives for a visit at the President's Residence in Jerusalem, on July 14, 2022.
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

A US Secret Service agent, who was in Israel ahead of US President Joe Biden's visit, was sent back to the United States earlier this week after attacking a woman at Mahaneh Yehuda market in Jerusalem.

"In accordance with agency protocol, his access to Secret Service systems and facilities was suspended pending further investigation," a spokesperson for the Secret Service commented on the incident, which allegedly occurred at the beginning of the week.

"I screamed, but no one came."

Tamar Ben Haim

How did a Secret Serviceman assault an Israeli woman?

The woman, later identified by Channel 13 as Jerusalemite Tamar Ben Haim, was walking in the Nahlaot neighborhood in Jerusalem, where Mahaneh Yehuda is located. She noticed two armed men walking toward her. 

 US Secret Service members keep look out before US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden take off in Marine One at Gordons Pond in Rehoboth, Delaware, US, July 10, 2022.  (credit: REUTERS/Tasos Katopodis) US Secret Service members keep look out before US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden take off in Marine One at Gordons Pond in Rehoboth, Delaware, US, July 10, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/Tasos Katopodis)

One of them began violently attacking her.

"I lifted my gaze from my phone and there was his fist," she told Channel 13. 

He hit her chest, grabbed her, slapped her, forcibly removed her earring from her ear and threw her belongings on the ground, she told Channel 13.

"I screamed," she said, "but no one came." 

Eventually, the second agent helped her escape from the first. Ben Haim then filed a police report, after which the man was arrested. He was then sent back to the US on the next available flight. 

Ben Haim is one of the great-grandchildren of former Sephardic chief rabbi and Shas co-founder Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Channel 13 noted.

"In accordance with agency protocol, his access to Secret Service systems and facilities was suspended pending further investigation."

US Secret Service

Not the first time agents assaulting locals

This is not the first time an agent was sent home during one of the President's trips. Back in May, on Biden's trip first Presidental trip to Asia, which included a stop in South Korea, two agents were sent home and put on administrative leave following an incident. 

South Korean police said that the Secret Service officials were hostile towards a local resident near the hotel Biden was residing at during his stay.