Left-wing activist barred from Knesset after alleged altercation with far-right MK

Sam Sokol is the Times of Israel's political correspondent. He was previously a reporter for the Jerusalem Post, Jewish Telegraphic Agency and Haaretz. He is the author of "Putin’s Hybrid War and the Jews"

The head of the Parents Against Child Detention group has been barred from entering the Knesset following an alleged altercation with a far-right MK.

Arriving at the Knesset today, Moria Shlomot, was informed that she is prohibited from entering the building, despite being registered to attend a debate in the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee on a proposed measure to allow minors under the age of 14 to be jailed for certain terror-related offense.

“I got permission to attend the meeting and when I arrived at the Knesset, a minute before the start of the committee, I received a call from the Knesset sergeant-at-arms stating that the secretary of the committee turned to him to prevent my entry,” she tells The Times of Israel.

“Until this morning I did not know that there was a ban on entering the Knesset. No paper. No warning. No nothing. This is not what democracy looks like,” she says, promising to appeal the decision.

Another member of Shlomot’s team, Michal Fruchtman, was expelled from the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee today, following an argument with lawmakers over the extent of her organization’s foreign funding.

Last month, far-right Otzma Yehudit MK Limor Son Har-Melech accused Shlomot of physical assault and demanded that she be banned permanently from the Knesset, citing a confrontation after a heated debate over the bill.

In a letter to Knesset speaker Amir Ohana and Knesset Sergeant-at-Arms Yuval Chen, Son Har-Melech claimed that the activist chased her outside the committee chamber, pushing her “violently.”

No video of the incident has been released and the Knesset spokesman did not respond to a request to access the footage.

Shlomot, who was in the Knesset testifying against the proposed measure, denied the allegations, and has stated that she gently tapped the lawmaker to “get her attention.”

“I didn’t push her. I didn’t hit her. There was no attack. It’s all garbage,” she said at the time.

Asked for comment today, Son Har-Melech tells The Times of Israel that “Moria Shlomot physically attacked me.”

“This is a violent woman. Therefore, I filed a complaint with the Knesset sergeant-at-arms, who is not allowing her to enter,” Son Har-Melech says. “Feel free to contact him and ask for the documentation of the attack, which is not ambiguous.”

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