Israel’s parliament has decided to give a controversial rightwing lawmaker a security detail after a widely-shared video showed him insulting Palestinians heading to visit detained relatives, a spokesman said Tuesday.
Oren Hazan, a provocative figure from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, dispensed the abuse on Monday after boarding a bus of Palestinians allowed to exit the Gaza Strip to see family members held in an Israeli jail.
“Your relatives belong in the ground,” he says in the footage, demanding that passengers denounce “terrorist acts” against Israel.
“Your son is a dog,” he tells a woman from the coastal enclave.
Hazan used the stunt to criticise Israel’s policy of allowing permits for such visits while Gaza’s Islamists rulers Hamas allegedly hold three civilians and the bodies of two Israeli soldiers.
One woman replies: “Speak to Hamas to see your children, not us.”
Footage of the incident has been shared widely on Palestinian and Israeli social media, and prompted a rare response from a spokesman for the armed wing of Hamas.
“Instead of sending an idiot to carry out childish acts… try to resolve the issue with courage and without intimidating women,” Abu Obeida said in a statement to the Israeli authorities.
It is not the first time Hazan has sparked controversy.
In 2015, he was suspended from his position as deputy speaker of Israel’s parliament after a televised report accused him of involvement in pimping and drugs.
This May, Hazan was heavily criticised after taking a selfie with US President Donald Trump as he landed in Israel.
In August, Netanyahu intervened to stop Hazan meeting a Jordanian lawmaker on the border, fearing a fistfight.–AFP