Channel 13 reporter Baruch Kra was attacked outside the Jerusalem District Court on Tuesday morning while reporting on the corruption trial of former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In video of the incident, a woman can be seen using what appears to be a walking stick to hit Kra on the head and knock his kippa to the ground. “You are a heretic,” a woman can be heard shouting, while another man loudly proclaims that the case against Netanyahu was fabricated in order to bring him down.
After the incident, Kra can be seen bending to pick his kippa up off the ground.
“I don’t know the woman who hit me on the head with a stick and knocked off my kippa,” tweeted Kra after the incident. “I also do not intend to lodge a complaint against her.” But Kra said he is sad about the “violence that has been brought to us by an unrestrained and well-oiled system of incitement.”
Kra said that no matter what the protesters said or did, his kippa “is here to stay, in particular because it represents something so far from” their actions.
Channel 13 news anchors said Tuesday evening that the incident was clearly tied to incitement against the media instigated by politicians.
למי שפספס: אשה, כנראה אחת המפגינות, תוקפת במקל את ברוך קרא ומעיפה לו את הכיפה pic.twitter.com/JxobGC1HJK
— Ben Caspit בן כספית (@BenCaspit) November 16, 2021
“You cannot separate what happened this afternoon in Jerusalem from the incitement of politicians and other public figures against the media and against specific journalists,” said Channel 13 anchor Tamar Ish-Shalom. She noted that just a day earlier, Netanyahu tweeted an anti-news media caricature and called Channels 12 and 13 “propaganda.”
“We’re not asking to be immune from criticism,” added fellow Channel 13 news anchor Udi Segal. “But the incident today is a warning sign. Today, it’s a walking stick on someone’s head, and nobody was harmed. Next time, it could be more severe.”
“But one thing is clear,” added Segal. “It hasn’t deterred us, and it will not deter us.”
Protesters outside the court on Tuesday also hurled abuse at Nir Hefetz, the former Netanyahu aide turned state witness whose testimony is expected to be a key part of the trial against the former prime minister.
Hefetz was slated to testify for the first time Tuesday morning, but his testimony was delayed by a week following the emergence of new evidence. A protester could be heard shouting “Nir Hefetz should die, Nir Hefetz should not live” into a megaphone outside the court. Hefetz later filed a police complaint over the incident.
Hefetz’s lawyer said that there had been an increase in incitement against his client in the run-up to the court hearing. “We take seriously the escalation in incitement on social media toward Nir over the past week, and the calls and threats outside the court. Unfortunately, nothing happens by chance,” Ilan Sofer told reporters following the hearing.
Netanyahu faces charges of fraud and breach of trust in Case 1000 and in Case 2000, and charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in Case 4000. He says all the allegations against him were fabricated by the police and prosecution, and denies any wrongdoing.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.