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Shin Bet backs agents after altercation with minister Regev and her driver

The Shin Bet security service on Wednesday defended the conduct of its agents during an altercation with Transportation Minister Miri Regev and her driver, in which she was heard instructing him to drive through a group of guards.

The incident — which was partly caught on video — occurred as Regev arrived for an event Monday at the Tel Hashomer military base that was also attended by Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, requiring a large detail of Shin Bet guards.

The Shin Bet said an internal investigation, the findings of which were shared with the agency’s chief, Ronen Bar, determined that the agents acted “professionally, properly and proportionately” during the confrontation and denied Regev’s claim she was pushed.

It also said one of the guards was struck in the leg by Regev’s vehicle after her driver did not heed their orders, while adding that Bar “supports the security agents in the execution of their duties.”

The Shin Bet statement came after a number of videos surfaced Tuesday showing parts of the squabble, with Regev’s office and the security agency blaming each other for the incident.

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When Regev’s car arrived at the location of the event within the army base, a security guard reportedly instructed the driver to stop but the driver kept moving forward. The guard said the car hit his leg, injuring him.

תיעוד וידאו מהתקרית אתמול בין מירי רגב והשב״כ מראה תמונה שונה מזו שתוארה עד עתה.

נתחיל בסוף: רגב נהדפת פיזית על ידי מאבטחי השבכ בתמונות שאינני זוכר כמותן ביחס לשר בממשלה.

— עמית סגל Amit Segal (@amit_segal) September 5, 2023

The guard then raised the alert and Shin Bet officials detained the driver. When Regev returned to the car after the event was over, an argument broke out as she defended the driver. In the scuffle, part of which was caught on video, a Shin Bet guard pushed Regev against the side of the vehicle while the driver chastised him, saying, “You can’t behave like that toward a minister.”

Regev could also be heard repeatedly urging her driver to continue through a group of guards and police blocking the vehicle, telling him, “Go! Drive!” to which he responded, “I can’t, I will run them over.”

“This incident could have been completely avoided had the driver followed security procedures and properly identified himself, as occurred with the other ministers who attended the event without any issues,” said a statement from the Shin Bet.

Sources close to Regev were quoted by the Ynet news site criticizing the Shin Bet, saying that the “investigation was carried out without questioning the transportation minister.” The sources further added “they haven’t contacted us yet to get the full video. If this is how the Shin Bet conducts investigations then we all need to sleep with one eye open.”