Israeli police officer suspended after attacking Palestinian truck driver over fender bender

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israel Police officer was suspended after being caught on video assaulting a Palestinian truck driver two days after a fender bender.

The truck driver said he hit the police officer’s parked car on Tuesday, but did not leave his insurance information. He said he knew that security cameras in the area would pick up his license number and that he would be contacted.

The officer reportedly located the truck driver at 6 a.m. Thursday in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi Joz, ordered him out of his truck, then began headbutting, kicking and hitting him. He also hit another man standing nearby.

Surveillance cameras captured the incident and police viewed the footage. The officer was suspended after the incident came to light, pending the results of a police investigation.

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“This behavior is grave, abnormal and is not in line with the kind of behavior expected of police officers,” the Israel Police said in a statement. “When we received the video, the police officer was immediately put on forced leave and will be summoned for a disciplinary hearing at a later stage. The Police Investigations Unit is examining the matter.”

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan called the incident “very grave and worthy of condemnation,” and said he supported the suspension.

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