Ben Gvir praises Israeli police after killing of Palestinian after alleged car-ramming

Ben Gvir praises Israeli police after killing of Palestinian after alleged car-ramming
Israeli police shot dead a Palestinian they claimed rammed into them and tried to shoot them.
3 min read
23 December, 2022
Ben Gvir has praised the shooting of the Palestinian man [Getty/archive]

Israel's incoming National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir has praised Israeli police after a Palestinian, who allegedly rammed them with his car, was shot dead in central Israel on Friday

The far-right politician, who will oversee the police in the new Israeli government, Itamar Ben-Gvir, praised officers as "heroic".

The leader of an ultranationalist Jewish Power party who once was convicted of incitement to racism and supporting a terrorist organisation, Ben-Gvir ran on the promise of fighting organised crime and increasing governance in areas populated by Israel’s Palestinian minority.

Earlier this month, Ben Gvir hailed an Israeli soldier who shot dead an unarmed Palestinian as a "hero".

"Kudos to the hero warrior," Ben-Gvir said on Twitter, calling Mefleh a "despicable terrorist".

Palestinians fear a rise in killings by police and army with Ben Gvir in charge of national security, with reports that he will grant immunity for Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank.

The latest incident took place in the 48 Palestinian town of Kfar Qassem, an unusual site for what police suspected was a "nationalistic militant" attack.

They claim the Palestinian man attemped to ram police after trying to shoot an officer. The alleged attack left three policemen wounded.

Israeli police identified the assailant as 22-year-old Naim Badir, a member of Israel's Palestinian population and a resident of Kfar Qassem.

Police said that the suspect first called officers to his house over an alleged violent incident. When police arrived at the scene, they claim they were greeted with a barrage of stones and bottles hurled from the house.

A police spokesman claimed the man tried to shoot but the gun didn't fire.

The suspect's car allegedly crashed into another, lightly wounding three officers. Police opened fire, killing the suspect, according to Israel’s Magen David Adom emergency service.

"According to the Israeli police spokesperson, a man called the police requesting them to respond to a violent incident, and upon their arrival, he ran them over," Ibrahim Husseini, The New Arab's Jerusalem correspondent said.

"Local sources say that the police arrested the suspect's mother, two brothers, and his cousin."

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Soldiers and police said they searched the scene and claimed to have found an automatic weapon, along with a knife and tear gas belonging to the suspect. It remains unclear whether other suspects were involved in the attack.

Violence has surged this year as Israel conducts near-daily raids in the occupied West Bank in response to a spate of Palestinian attacks this past spring that killed 19 people in Israel. At least 150 Palestinians have been killed, making 2022 the deadliest in 16 years.

The Israeli army claims most of the Palestinians killed have been militants, but dozens of men, women and children not involved in confrontations - such as veteran journalist Shireen Abu Akleh - have also been killed.