A Haredi man filed a lawsuit to the sum of NIS 200,000 ($57,000) against the State of Israel and a Border Guard officer, who allegedly assaulted the plaintiff during a demonstration in Beit Shemesh.
The man, Gadi Raz, 24, was attending a protest against the construction of a new neighborhood in the city, which according to the religious sect he belongs to, will be raised on the site of ancient Jewish tombs.
Raz filed a civil lawsuit with the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court against the officer, the police and the Prison Service, claiming the officer assaulted him "mercilessly, while he was helpless."
According to him, the assault could have ended in irreversible damage. The plaintiff said suffered great damage and distress, as well as humiliation.
The incident was caught on tape, in a video which allegedly shows the accused chasing Raz after the latter opened the police cruiser's door in which he was sitting.
In the video, the officer is seen punching him while he was lying on the ground, until he is restrained by a fellow officer. Later, the officer is seen again punching Raz in the face while other officers are holding him, trying to get him into the cruiser. By the end of the video, Raz is seen sitting in the car, his face bleeding.
According to the indictment, Raz claimed he opened the cruiser's door because he wanted to pick up a hat which one of his fellow protesters dropped while he himself was arrested. But according to the police, Raz attempted to let one of his friends escape.
Raz also claims that after he was rushed to a hospital, it was decided to jail him in spite of his condition and though there was no cause for arrest. He also said that before he was jailed he was forced to undress, and was threatened also facing his refusal to be treated in the hospital.
Finally, Raz was treated, and some bruises were found on his face.
Raz's lawyer, Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir, said as he filed the lawsuit: "I've no doubt that if the Border Guard officer would have attacked a Tel Aviv resident, all the established would have sprung up until he was suspended, and rightly so.
"The feeling is that because these are haredim, everything is allowed, there is no judge and no justice. You can disagree with the protesters but you can't brutally assault a citizen who's only crime was protesting grave demolition."