Woman Convicted of Assaulting MK Ben Ari

Arab woman spilled water on MK when he was visiting Shimon HatTzaddik neighborhood.

Gil Ronen ,

MK Michael Ben Ari
MK Michael Ben Ari
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Jerusalem Magistrates' Court President Shulamit Dotan convicted on Thursday an Arab woman, Fatma Diab, of assaulting MK Michael Ben Ari (National Union) when he visited the Shimon Hatzaddik neighborhood of Jerusalem on February 13, 2010.

Diab threw water at the Knesset Member and at another man named Aryeh Haimov.

Ben Ari had spent the Sabbath with his family at the neighborhood

He testified that he decided to visit the neighborhood after receiving dozens of complaints from Jewish residents and people who came there to pray, about abuse from local Arabs.

Ben Ari said that Arabs had promised him, before the Sabbath, that they would seek to attack him. A police guard was placed at the home where the Ben Aris stayed, but was removed when the Sabbath ended. When Ben Ari was walking toward his car with his children and with Haimov, Diab attacked them.

Ben Ari ran after her to catch her but she escaped to her home. Police were called, but did not arrest Diab until the following day.

The judge said that she found Ben Ari's version of events trustworthy and noted that it was corroborated by other testimony and by security video. Diab's version, on the other hand, was implausible. "The accused avoided the prosecutor's questions and gave false and unreasonable answers," she added.

Ben Ari said Thursday that he expects the Prosecution "to ask for a prison sentence as punishment, as it did in cases where leftist MKs were assaulted."