Driver of car hit by Ben Gvir’s vehicle says accident has ruined his life

Idan Domatov suffered a severe injury to his knee and has been unable to run his business since the accident; minister, whose car ran red light, appears to blame Domatov for crash

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)
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)

The driver whose vehicle was hit by National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir’s car last month said Tuesday that his life has been ruined by the accident, as he undergoes a long and difficult recovery.

“Everyone behaves like everything is okay, and that isn’t the case,” Idan Domatov told told Channel 12 news in an interview.

Domatov, who works as a barber, has been unable to work since the accident. He suffered a severe injury to his knee and is not yet mobile.

“I’m in the midst of rehabilitation that is expected to last another four months and cannot walk without crutches. I no longer need a wheelchair, but my business and health worry me. Everything worries me and keeps me up at night,” he said.

Domatov’s mother told the network that clients he had acquired over the years while running his business have had to go elsewhere. Domatov has been out of commission and doesn’t know when he’ll be able to go back to work.

“He stays home and doesn’t work, which is challenging for him mentally and emotionally,” she said. “The accident has physical consequences, and it might take at least six months for him to get back to normal.”

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

Domatov’s mother added that the situation has caused tensions at home as both she and her husband work full time and cannot stay home to take care of him.

“His siblings are at university or in the army, and unfortunately, he stays alone most of the day without the physical ability to go out,” she said.

She also said the police were being uncooperative and refusing to release the car to them so that they could get the insurance for it.

The accident occurred in Ramle at the end of April after Ben Gvir had visited the scene of a terror attack in the city. As his car was leaving the scene, Ben Gvir’s driver ran a red light, hitting Domatov’s car which had entered the junction on a green light.

Ben Gvir’s car flipped over, and he was discharged from the hospital two days later with three fractured ribs, but while Ben Gvir has said his own driver was okay, Domatov was more severely injured than first thought.

The investigation into the accident is made more complex by the fact that Ben Gvir is the minister in charge of the Israel Police. As such, when the investigation is concluded, Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara will be consulted on whether to indict Ben Gvir’s driver.

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

Meanwhile, speaking to Army Radio on Sunday, Ben Gvir maintained that his driver was not responsible for the accident.

“With all due respect, you can see in the video that my driver needs to run red lights in places where I am threatened.”

The video in question, taken by a dashcam at the scene, showed Ben Gvir’s car entering the junction at a red light and hitting Domatov’s oncoming car. Nothing in the video suggested that the minister had been in danger prior to running the red light.

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.

Ben Gvir, however, was not the only person with a record in the car last month. 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.

In his radio interview Tuesday, Ben Gvir seemingly blamed Domatov for the accident, saying that “even when your light is green, when you enter a junction, you have to look right and left to make sure the junction is clear. That’s what they teach in driving school.”

However, the video of the accident shows that Domatov hadn’t had a view of Ben Gvir’s car, which moved into his lane from behind another car without checking if there was an oncoming vehicle.

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