Cops Questioned for Throwing Stun Grenades at Protestors in Tel Aviv

Earlier this month, stun grenades had been thrown at people protesting in Tel Aviv against the judicial overhaul of the government.

On Sunday, six cops were questioned regarding the role they had played in making this decision to deal with the protestors.

A police officer was summoned by the Police Internal Investigations Department named Meir Suissa, who had thrown a grenade, and five others were also called.

The investigation

There had been video footage showing Suissa casually throwing a stun grenade towards a crowd of protestors, even though it is not permitted according to regulations.

Therefore, an investigation had been launched into the incident. Speaking to the investigators, Suissa defended his actions.

He said that the situation had been getting out of control and they were instructions allowing the use of stun grenades.

He stated that he had thrown two to three stun grenades and had done so in an open area and none of the demonstrators had been harmed, so he had remained calm.

He said that their goal had been to ensure that there were no injuries.

The escalation

During the ‘day of disruption’ on March 1st, the police had ramped up their tactics of dispersing the crowd significantly as they had used water cannons and stun grenades against the demonstrators.

The people were protesting against the judicial overhaul plans and had blocked one of Tel Aviv’s key junction. The protests against the controversial proposals have been happening for 10 weeks now.

Around 11 people had gotten injured in the clashes with the cops and had to be treated for various burns, cuts and bruises at the hospital.

One man had been hit with a stun grenade and his partially detached ear had to be sewn back on.

The National Security Minister

Itamar Ben Gvir, the National Security Minister, commended Suissa for his conduct and said that protestors who block traffic need to be dealt with harshly.

On Sunday, he said that the investigation was sending a bad message to Israel Police officers as it showed that they did not have any backup.

He stated that this decision of launching an investigation into the incident turns the Police Internal Investigations Department into a political body.

He talked about an incident in December 2020 when 16-year old Ahuvia Sandak had been fleeing from the police and was killed in a car crash in the West Bank.

Ben Gvir said that they had dissolved the case quickly back then, but they are questioning the police in the case of anarchist protestors who are trying to block roads and break through fences.

He also asserted that if the demonstration was of Ethiopian or Haredim immigrations, there would not be any word.

Kobi Shabtai, the Israel Police chief, had said after the protest that a number of police officers had gotten injured in the clashes with the protestors.

He said that the police would not interfere with the protests because they are committed to free speech and right to protest, as long as the peace is not disturbed.

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