Ben Gvir’s car flips over after running red light, minister lightly injured

Reports claim national security minister regularly orders his driver to commit traffic infractions; Ben Gvir hospitalized overnight for observation

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)

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir’s vehicle flipped in a car accident while leaving the scene of a terror stabbing on Friday in the central city of Ramle, police said. Video from the scene showed his car running a red light.

Police said two vehicles were involved in the collision and five people were taken to hospital after being lightly injured.

Ben Gvir’s office said the minister was in good condition and conscious, but was taken to the nearby Shamir Medical Center for further treatment. He was staying in the hospital overnight for observation.

A later statement said one of his daughters, a guard and his driver were also among the injured, as was the driver of the other vehicle. Hebrew media reported that Ben Gvir and his daughter were not wearing seatbelts.

The 23-year-old driver of the other car told Ynet that he was suffering from severe pain throughout his body.

“I drove through a green light, and Ben Gvir’s entourage entered the junction on a red light,” he said. “I have no history of traffic infractions. My whole body hurts, and most likely I won’t be released from the hospital tonight. I still need to get scans done and it seems likely I have fractures in my ribs and my neck.”

The car (left) of National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir that was in an accident in Ramle. April 26, 2024. (Jamal Awad/Flash90)

Pictures from the scene showed the minister’s black official vehicle flipped over, while another car had a smashed-in front.

Police said they were investigating the cause of the crash. Hebrew media said Ben Gvir’s driver was being questioned under caution.

Ben Gvir’s office later claimed that his car ran the red light for operational reasons because he was “a threatened minister in a mixed [Arab and Jewish] city.”

Video footage taken from the dashcam of a vehicle at the scene of the accident shows Ben Gvir’s official vehicle running a red light.

The video shows the black sedan arriving at the junction and slowing almost to a complete stop at the red light. It then pushes into the intersection. The first vehicle it cuts across manages to brake in time to avoid hitting it, but a second car plows into the minister’s vehicle, causing it to overturn.

One of Ben Gvir’s accompanying security vehicles also followed him through the red light intersection but was not hit.

This is not the first time Ben Gvir’s official vehicle has been involved in a car accident.

In August last year, the hard-right minister was involved in another accident when his vehicle ran a red light while on the way to an interview.

According to a Haaretz report in September, the Shin Bet unit in charge of guarding public figures raised the issue with the Prime Minister’s Office and the National Security Ministry, after Ben Gvir’s bodyguards complained that the minister regularly ordered his drivers to commit traffic infractions, endangering not only his own life but those of his driver and bodyguards.

“He drives around like he’s the prime minister. There’s no chance he’ll sit around in traffic,” an unnamed source told Haaretz then. “This will end in disaster.”

According to the report, traffic infractions have been committed during journeys that were not emergencies, like driving to Knesset meetings and TV interviews.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir at the scene of a terror attack in Ramle, April 26, 2024. Shortly after he left the scene, his ministerial car was involved in a car accident in which he was lighly injured. (Jamal Awad/FLASH90)

Documents seen by Haaretz showed that Ben Gvir has frequently broken the law while behind the wheel himself.

Since he began driving in 2000, the minister has been caught running red lights, using his phone while driving, speeding, crossing solid white lines and driving without a seatbelt, among a long list of 78 infractions, the Kan public broadcaster revealed in September.

In response to Kan’s report, Ben Gvir claimed then that the Israel Police had compensated him with NIS 25,000 ($6,500) for wrongful arrests and that his infractions “became obsolete years ago.”

Ben Gvir has been indicted dozens of times, mostly for disturbing the peace during his time as a far-right activist, though he was exonerated in almost all the cases. The Jerusalem District Court in 2008 convicted him of incitement to racism and supporting a terror organization over a placard he held reading “Arabs out” following a Palestinian terror attack in Jerusalem and anti-Arab signs he had in his car that referred to the far-right Kach movement, a Jewish group that was banned as a terror organization.

In coalition talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he demanded and received authority over the police after being elected to the Knesset in 2023, after running a campaign in which he promised to restore law and order.

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