Ben Gvir released from hospital after car crash, won’t admit he ran red light

Far-right minister claims he needs to violate traffic rules because he is under threat; driver of second car says bodyguards pointed guns at him after accident

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir at the scene of a terror attack in Ramle, April 26, 2024. (Jamal Awad/Flash90)
National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir at the scene of a terror attack in Ramle, April 26, 2024. (Jamal Awad/Flash90)

Public Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir was discharged Sunday morning from Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital, where he had been kept for two nights after a car accident Friday, which occurred as the far-right firebrand’s car ran a red light.

A Saturday night statement from the hospital said Ben Gvir had fractured his ribs and was suffering from bruising, describing his injuries as light.

The hospital said Ben Gvir’s daughter, who was in the car with him, was lightly hurt in the crash and was sent home on Saturday night. Neither she nor the minister had been wearing seatbelts, according to reports.

The statement did not mention the driver or a guard, who Ben Gvir’s office said were also injured.

Despite dashcam footage from the scene of the accident showing the minister’s car and another car in his entourage running a red light, the police told the Kan public broadcaster that they had not yet figured out what caused the accident.

The police did, however, tell reporters at the scene that if Ben Gvir’s car did indeed run a red light and was not on the way to an emergency situation, it would constitute a severe traffic infraction.

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

The accident occurred when another car, entering the intersection at a green light, hit Ben Gvir’s car.

Ben Gvir was in the Ramle area after visiting the scene of a terror attack in which a woman was seriously wounded.

Ben Gvir’s office did not confirm that the minister ran the red light on Friday, but said that doing so occasionally is essential because he is “one of the most threatened” ministers in Israel. There was no evidence that Ben Gvir was in any danger in the moments leading up to the crash or that the situation necessitated running a red light.

In interviews with various Hebrew media, the driver of the second car, Idan Domatov, who is still in the hospital after undergoing surgery on his leg, said that his light was green and the minister’s cars ran the red light.

“I was lucky that I had just dropped off my brothers at home before the accident, because if I hadn’t, I don’t know what would have happened,” he told Channel 12 News. “I had four brothers in the car with me; it could have been a big disaster.”

He added that after the crash, Ben Gvir’s bodyguards pointed their guns at him until he convinced them that he was Jewish.

Domatov’s father, Arthur, told Ynet that he arrived at the scene after getting a message from his brother-in-law.

“I saw my son in the car alone, and no one went over to him,” he said. “The minister had already been evacuated. No one went in my son’s direction to help him except for one paramedic who is his friend.”

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)

Magen David Adom claimed that emergency teams began treating all the injured as soon as they arrived at the scene, and that Domatov was brought to the hospital 34 minutes after the ambulance service got the call about the accident.

Arthur said that he wished a full and speedy recovery to Ben Gvir and anyone who had been in the car with him, but that no one had called to ask after his son or take his testimony.

Ben Gvir himself made no mention of Domatov in a lengthy post about the accident on X on Saturday night.

The far-right police minister began by thanking the hospital team and people who had prayed for his recovery and assuring readers that he was doing well and was back to work from his hospital bed.

He then mentioned the terror attack on Friday, promoting his policy to arm the public and reiterating his views that “weapons save lives” after a civilian with a gun permit shot and killed the terrorist.

Addressing the accident, Ben Gvir did not explicitly admit to running a red light, but did say that as he is “one of the most threatened personalities in the State of Israel,” he was required to operate under emergency policies, “especially at times and in places with a higher risk.”

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

He also lamented people, including former Israel Police chief Arieh Amit, expressing disappointment on social media that the accident had not killed him.

“This is a hateful phenomenon in which hateful people stoke hate among brothers… and they are the greatest danger to the State of Israel,” Ben Gvir wrote. “We can be split on the correct way, we can even be split on the essence, but we must never forget that we are brothers.”

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.

Ben Gvir, however, was not the only person with a record in the car Friday. According to media reports quoting unnamed officials, the driver at the time of the accident was Moshe Eichenstein, who was caught driving 147 kilometers per hour in 2022, more than 60 kilometers per hour over the speed limit. At the time, his license was revoked for 50 days.

Separately, on Saturday night, a car accident left Minister Haim Biton’s father severely injured, according to media reports. The minister’s parents were being driven home in his official car after they had visited him over the weekend. Biton was not in the car at the time of the accident.

The Israel Police were investigating the accident.

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