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Dec 7, 7:48 AM EST

Israeli lawmaker charged with assaulting mayor


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JERUSALEM (AP) -- A lawmaker from Israel's governing Likud party has been charged with assault for allegedly attacking the mayor of his hometown in 2014, before he was elected to parliament.

The Justice Ministry said Thursday that Orem Hazan assaulted the mayor of the West Bank settlement of Ariel over a lien placed on Hazan's mother's bank account for unpaid municipal taxes. Hazan dismissed the allegations as a "pure political witch hunt."

Hazan, a rookie parliamentarian, has cultivated a reputation as a rogue politician. He snapped an unexpected selfie with President Donald Trump after he landed in Israel in May, challenged a Jordanian parliament member to a fistfight and berated a disabled opposition member.

He has also been accused of solicitation and drug use while managing a casino in Bulgaria, charges he denies.

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