Sunny Isles Beach, Florida – The teenage son of an Israeli consular officer was arrested this past weekend after police say he intentionally ran over a cop with his motorcycle during a traffic stop. Now, he’s claiming diplomatic immunity.
According to reports, 19-year-old Avraham Yehuda Gil, is charged with a first-degree felony of aggravated battery of a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest with violence. Gil was also fined $300 after officers claimed Gil was driving his motorcycle without a valid license nor did the motorcycle have a license plate.
The incident took place Saturday afternoon when Gil was “weaving in between vehicles” to approach Sunny Isles Beach Lieutenant Ruben Zamora who was conducting a traffic stop, when he motioned at Gil and yelled at him to stop, police said Gil was trying to hit the officer on purpose.
“Lt. Zamora stated that the defendant then intentionally ran him over at which point he grabbed the defendant with both of his hands and redirected him towards the ground to stop him,” The arrest report reads.
Zamora suffered an “incapacitating” injury to his left leg as a result and is currently on “light duty assignment” while he recovers. Sunny Isles Beach Police Chief Edward Santiago declined to comment as to why Zamora believed Gil intentionally ran him over.
“It should be noted that Avraham spontaneously uttered that he was sorry and that he was just driving in between vehicles to cut in front of the line because he hates waiting behind traffic,” the report continues.
Local10, which originally broke the news story, disclosed that the felony charges may not stick as Avraham Gil is the son of Eli Gil, a diplomat at the Israeli consulate located in Miami.
The teenager’s attorneys argued at a county court hearing that he is entitled to “consular immunity” through his father’s role at the consulate. According to the U.S. Department of State, “Family members forming part of the household of diplomatic agents enjoy precisely the same privileges and immunities as do the sponsoring diplomatic agents,” which extends to children until the age of 21.
The Saturday incident is just the latest in a string of encounters Gil has had with law enforcement in Miami-Dade County. Miami New Times revealed that the teenager was issued hundreds of dollars in traffic infractions in December after a Miami Shores police officer claimed he was caught driving over the 35-mph limit on his motorcycle. During a traffic stop which was captured on a police body cam, Gil—whose license plate reads “Pls Chase”—mentioned his father’s job as a consul and asked the cop, “Would you like me to call him?”
In mid-January, Miami Shores police encountered the same motorcycle and noted the license plate before the driver fled.
Furthermore, Local 10 News revealed that the State Department is aware of the latest case as legal questions persist as to whether consular immunity will extend to the diplomat’s son. Records show that Gil was released on his own recognizance. His arraignment is scheduled for February 26.
The booking photo of the diplomat’s son taken over the weekend shows the 19-year-old from Aventura wearing a black hoodie and sobbing.
The Miami incident is the latest in the long history of diplomatic immunity being invoked by members of the Israeli diplomats, who often get caught engaging in controversial or outright criminal acts.
In 2014, the British government granted temporary diplomatic immunity to Israel’s justice minister, Tzipi Livni, to shield the official from arrest after alleged breaches of international law and war crimes. The move came as London-based law firm Hickman and Rose collaborated with the Gaza-based Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) in requesting the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to arrest Livni on behalf of the family of a Palestinian who was killed on the first day of Israel’s December 2008 assault on Gaza.
The decision to grant immunity by the UK government sparked outrage, particularly from PCHR director, Raji Sourani who declared, “The [UK government’s] stated policy of ‘ending impunity for international crimes’ can only be properly pursued if the rule of law and due process is allowed to prevail, rather than Britain giving a safe haven to suspected war criminals, even for a few hours.”
In 2013, two other high-profile and controversial Israeli officials—Israeli military chief of staff, Benny Gantz, and retired major general Doron Almog were also given special mission status ahead of their visits to the UK.
It would be the second time Livni escaped arrest and potential prosecution in the UK, when, in October 2011, she received diplomatic immunity before a visit to the country after CPS received an application for an arrest warrant for alleged war crimes.
In October 1988, similar accusations of skirting international law were levied against the Reagan Administration, after limited diplomatic immunity was extended to 45 representatives of Israel’s “military purchasing office” and five members of their “trading mission.” Immunity was granted in that case amid concerns that the New York-based office might have been involved in two highly publicized smuggling cases to illegally smuggle American military technology into Israel.
Israel’s request for the immunity three years prior was not approved by Federal authorities due to the office’s suspected involvement, as well as the recent revelation that Israel had recruited U.S. Navy intelligence analyst-turned-spy Jonathan Pollard. When investigations ensued in July 1986 to determine whether eight Israelis working in the procurement office colluded with American companies to smuggle cluster bomb technology, Israel protested, which resulted in the Justice Department withdrawing subpoenas for the Israelis to testify.
In 2017, an Israeli embassy security shot and killed a Jordanian man of Palestinian descent who allegedly attacked him with a screwdriver at Israel’s embassy compound in Amman. The assailant was identified as 17-year-old Mohammed al-Juoda. The attack came as tensions between Jordan and Israel were high, after the latter installed metal detectors at entry points to the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. Days prior, two policemen were shot dead by three Arab-Israeli gunmen.
Protests erupted in the immediate aftermath on the streets of Amman in support of the fallen teen, whose father was dubbed a martyr in the Jordanian media as al-Juoda was motivated by the Temple Mount crisis.
Jordan reportedly did not allow the guard to leave the country while Israel refused an investigation of the security guard altogether. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that the guard had diplomatic immunity from questioning and prosecution under the Vienna Convention. This resulted in a delayed evacuation of the Israeli diplomatic team in Jordan’s capital over fears of an imminent attack on the embassy.
Many of Jordan’s 7 million citizens are descended from Palestinians who fled or were expelled to Jordan during the violent creation of Israel in 1948. Known as the "Nakba," the event continues to have a significant impact on the nation’s political atmosphere, regardless of official diplomatic relations with the Jewish state.
Consequently, the Jordanian government was recently exposed to be using the services of notorious Israeli spyware, Pegasus, against political dissidents in the country, demonstrating Israel’s continuous efforts to undermine press freedoms and political participation that may counter the Zionist regime.
Amid Israel’s war with Hamas following the Oct. 7 attacks late last year, Israeli reservists have criticized Benjamin Netanyahu’s son, Yair, for remaining in Miami after fleeing. The condemnation from the IDF came in response to nationwide protests over Benjamin Netanyahu's dismissal of Defense Minister Yoav Galant. Netanyahu’s defense attorney, Uriel Chur Nizari, justified Yair’s stay abroad as a response to “persecution” hampering his ability to “lead a normal life.”
Expenses for Yair’s seven-month stay have amounted to approximately one million shekels ($277,000) in funds which were transferred from the Prime Minister’s Office to the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Israeli Consulate in Miami.
Jews living in the West have continually made headlines for outrageous, sinister, and bizarre behavior, only increasing as Israel's brutal war on Gaza grinds into 2024. In January, Orthodox Jews in New York City became the center of international scrutiny, after it was revealed that a religious extremist sect had dug mysterious tunnels underneath a Zionist headquarters, threatening the structural integrity of the entire neighborhood.
In December, influential Jewish Americans—including university professors—urged for limitations to be placed on citizens' freedom of speech rights. The demands came amid intensifying anti-Israel rhetoric from American youth, especially on college campuses.
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