In a shocking video, Israeli police are seen attacking women who were protesting COVID-19 mandates outside the home of Israeli Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton. The women appear to be unarmed and non-violent.
The women were part of a small crowd that had formed to rally against the COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the Israeli government such as vaccine passports and mask mandates. Signs of protest such as “stop the isolations” can be seen.
One of the darkest effects of the mandates has been the impact on children, who continue to miss school due to isolation mandates. With the highly contagious Omicron variant, hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren have had a significant disruption to their daily structure, as well as their academic and social lives. Children seven-years-old and up are also required to wear face masks in the classroom at all times.
These mandates, imposed on children with the help of Shasha-Biton, have many Israelis – particularly Israeli mothers – at wit’s end.
In the video, two male police officers can be seen shoving three women, throwing one of them to the ground before pinning her down and handcuffing her.
The crowd began shouting at the officers to “stop violence against women” and “let her go”. One woman was shouting at the policemen “There are children here!” at which point one of them violently shoved her multiple times.
More officers on the scene can be seen at the other edge of the crowd shoving women as well.
The crowd began to shout in unison, “Shame! Shame!” as the officers dragged the handcuffed woman to her feet and across the street to a squad car.
Israel has a dark history of police brutality, with police often held unaccountable to the law.
Just a few weeks ago, another video surfaced showing policemen ordering people who were unvaccinated off a bus, despite there being no law to that effect.
Shasha-Biton became Minister of Education last year as part of then-newly elected Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s cabinet.
At the end of July 2021, Shasha-Biton publicly opposed the Health Ministry's crusade to vaccinate children in schools, calling it a “crime”.
About two weeks later, Shasha-Biton's aide, Sahar Ismail, was shot dead outside his home. By the end of the month, Shasha-Biton had publicly reversed her original position and pledged to help the Health Ministry implement vaccinations for children.