Ben Gvir’s bodyguards say his drivers are still breaking traffic laws – report

Despite accident last month that left another driver on crutches, far-right national security minister said to keep up insistence that his car speed through red lights

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir's car after an accident in Ramle, April 26, 2024. The minister was lightly injured. (Jamal Awad/Flash90)
National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir's car after an accident in Ramle, April 26, 2024. The minister was lightly injured. (Jamal Awad/Flash90)

Security guards for National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir say that his drivers are breaking traffic laws under his instruction, even after a man was injured last month when the minister’s car ran a red light, according to a Sunday report.

The guards said that even if there was no operational need to do so, the drivers drive at excessive speed, run red lights at intersections, and drive on the hard shoulder of the road, the Haaretz daily reported.

The report, which cited unnamed security sources, said the bodyguards warned their superiors that the practice endangered the minister, other road users, and pedestrians.

The drivers answer to the minister, who is himself in charge of the Israel Police. The report said the far-right minister’s office did not respond when asked for comment.

On one occasion, a security guard asked a driver to slow down but the latter responded that he was acting under Ben Gvir’s orders and sped up.

A source told Haaretz that despite the accident, Ben Gvir continues to do as he pleases, saying, “Everyone is quaking [in fear] of him, including the security guards.”

The source said the driving behavior poses a “mortal danger” and will “end in catastrophe.”

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir at the Israel Police Independence Day ceremony at the National Headquarters of the Israel Police in Jerusalem May 9, 2024. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

Last year, the Shin Bet security service contacted the Prime Minister’s Office and the National Security Ministry about the issue after security guards complained, but according to Haaretz the matter was never dealt with.

Investigators recently finished probing a crash in Ramle in late April during which Ben Gvir, his daughter, and a security guard were injured, along with the driver of another vehicle. Ben Gvir’s car rolled over in the collision.

The accident occurred after Ben Gvir had visited the scene of a terror attack in the city. As his car was leaving the scene, his driver ran a red light, and the second car, which had entered the intersection on a green light, collided with it.

The investigation found that the car Ben Gvir was in did not have a valid permit as a security vehicle allowing it to be driven through red lights. Investigators also believe Ben Gvir was not wearing a seat belt at the time, despite his insistence that he was, Haaretz reported.

Ben Gvir suffered fractured ribs in the crash.

The civilian driver of the other vehicle in the collision said last week that his life had been ruined by the accident.

Idan Domatov, who works as a barber, has been unable to work since the accident. He suffered a severe injury to his knee and is only able to move around on crutches. He is expected to spend another four months rehabilitating from the injuries.

Idan Domatov, who was driving the other car involved in a car accident with National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir’s car in Ramle, April 26, 2024. (Channel 12 news, used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Road officials and police investigators believe there is enough evidence to press charges against Ben Gvir’s driver Moshe Eichenstein for traffic offenses. Eichnshtein’s license has been revoked, and he reportedly has a previous traffic offense for speeding that cost him his license for 50 days.

Speaking to Army Radio last week, Ben Gvir maintained that his driver was not responsible for the accident.

Ben Gvir has a long history of traffic offenses and has been repeatedly slammed for filming himself in transit as a minister while not wearing a seatbelt. Reports last year revealed that Ben Gvir has close to 80 traffic infractions on his record from being caught speeding, using his phone while driving, driving without a seatbelt, and speeding, among a list of other infractions.

Haaretz reported that in April last year, two cars in Ben Gvir’s entourage crashed into each other and last August Ben Gvir’s car hit another car after going through a red light. Ben Gvir’s driver received only a fine as the woman driving the other car did not testify to the police, with some sources telling Haaretz she feared to take such action against Ben Gvir’s staff.

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