A Petah Tivka man was arrested on suspicion he pulled out a pistol out during a confrontation with an anti-judicial overhaul protester, police said Wednesday.
The suspect, in his sixties and a resident of the city, was arrested Tuesday. He was not publicly named.
The suspect’s pistol was confiscated and police said they will review his gun license. He was later released to house arrest.
The incident came during Monday protests in the city against the government’s planned drastic overhaul of the judiciary and was caught on video, apparently filmed by a protester.
In the footage, the protester appears to follow the man down the street while shouting slogans at him through a megaphone.
The suspect is then seen pulling the gun from his holster and then walking back to the protester while shouting “put it down, put it down.”
He then appeared to knock the camera or phone before storming off.
אזרח שולף נשק על מפגין
פתח תקוה 26/06 pic.twitter.com/x2UOZ2G63Q
— אלימות ישראל (@Alimut_Israel) June 26, 2023
Though the suspect had the pistol in his hand the whole time, he did not appear to aim it at the protester or refer to it during their altercation.
The suspect said he pulled out the gun because the demonstrator was shouting at him with a megaphone, Channel 12 reported.
Also at the Petah Tikva demonstration, a man drove his car into a protester, who was injured and taken to the hospital. The police said they arrested a 53-year-old resident of the city shortly thereafter.
Hundreds of anti-judicial overhaul demonstrators had gathered in Petah Tikva after a protest leader was detained at a police station in the city for questioning.
Police later clarified that the activist, Itzik Medina, was questioned “as part of examining information received regarding suspected intentions of violent activity.” He was later released.
The incident marked the first time that the police have summoned an anti-judicial overhaul protester for questioning at a time in which they were not participating in a demonstration. Activists said that Medina’s detention was another step toward the country sliding into a dictatorship.