Israeli woman alleges US Secret Service agent attacked her before Biden’s visit, demands WH apology

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EXCLUSIVE: An Israeli woman claims she was assaulted by a U.S. Secret Service agent in Israel ahead of President Biden’s visit earlier this month. 

In an exclusive interview with Fox News Digital, Tamar Ben-Haim, 30, alleged she was walking home from her friend’s house past midnight on Monday along Rehov Shiloh, a popular street in a residential Jerusalem neighborhood, when a “large man” appeared in front of her, she recalled.

According to her, she was looking down at her phone and had her headphones on, and said “Before I could understand what was happening, I felt a hard slap across my face, and he immediately began punching me in the chest,” Ben-Haim said in an interview that has since been translated into English. 

The woman described being punched “over and over again,” like she was a “punching bag.” When she noticed a holstered gun on the man’s side, she tried to scream louder for help.

“I was in total shock,” she recalled, breaking down in tears as she spoke. “He was so strong…I couldn’t even attempt to defend myself. In my head, I was thinking, ‘you won’t survive this. This is the end of your life.'”

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A U.S. Secret Service Uniformed Division police car is parked in front of the White House in Washington, April 21, 2022. 

A U.S. Secret Service Uniformed Division police car is parked in front of the White House in Washington, April 21, 2022.  (Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

She said she could hear a bystander shouting from a distance in English, who was also armed, and it was clear he knew her attacker. He eventually managed to restrain her attacker and free her from his grasp. Shaking and in pain, she said she ran for her life while dialing Israeli police.

She explained that police told her to retrace her steps to try and photograph the alleged attacker. She captured two photos of what she described as both men walking away from the scene and turned them over to the police and went home.

Tamar Ben-Haim says she was attacked in Jerusalem earlier this month by a man she believes to be a member of President Biden's Secret Service.

Tamar Ben-Haim says she was attacked in Jerusalem earlier this month by a man she believes to be a member of President Biden’s Secret Service. (Fox News)

However, in the days that followed, Ben-Haim said she did not hear back from the police, claiming that she was being deliberately kept out of the loop. She claimed she remained in bed for three days in a state of shock and in too much physical pain to move.

While there were reports circulating that a U.S. Secret Service agent working on President Biden’s trip to Israel was briefly detained by Israeli authorities after a “physical encounter” and had been immediately sent back to the U.S., she did not make the connection.

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It was not until Israeli TV channel Arutz 13 called her requesting an interview that she said she learned her attacker’s true identity. The station revealed that both men were part of Biden’s Secret Service team and were in Israel to prepare for the president’s arrival later that week

Her alleged attacker reportedly was a member of the Secret Service’s Counter Assault Team. They told her street surveillance footage showed the agent in question leaving a local bar a few blocks away in the moments leading up to the attack. It was unclear whether local law enforcement provided the footage.

“When I heard who he was, I just felt more anger, more hurt,” Ben-Haim said. “He’s not a homeless person off the street. He’s a trained fighter.”

A spokesperson for the U.S. Secret Service confirmed to Fox News Digital the agency was informed that an employee was “allegedly involved in a physical encounter” and was “briefly detained” in Israel late Monday before returning to the United States.

President Joe Biden is greeted by Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, right, at Ben Gurion Airport, Wednesday, July 13, 2022, in Tel Aviv.

President Joe Biden is greeted by Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, right, at Ben Gurion Airport, Wednesday, July 13, 2022, in Tel Aviv. ((AP Photo/Evan Vucci))

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The spokesperson also stated that the agent’s access to Secret Service facilities has been suspended pending investigation but declined to provide an update in a follow-up email.

Ben-Haim said she did not recall smelling alcohol on her attacker’s breath, but noticed him stumbling as he walked away from the scene when she returned to photograph him. She has not been contacted by U.S. officials investigating the incident, she added. Israeli police told her that her attacker had left the country and offered her no information beyond that.

President Joe Biden speaks during an arrival ceremony after arriving at Ben Gurion Airport on July 13, in Tel Aviv, Israel.

President Joe Biden speaks during an arrival ceremony after arriving at Ben Gurion Airport on July 13, in Tel Aviv, Israel. (AP/Evan Vucci)

She accused the U.S. of working with local authorities to “sweep this under the carpet to protect him.” 

“You can come to another country, beat someone almost to death and just disappear with zero consequences?” she asked. “This is not someone from a third-world country. America is the example of the world, and he works for the president. They just shipped him back to where he came like nothing ever happened, and they expect me to just move on with my life.”

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The White House did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment. The Israeli police and Ministry of Foreign Affairs also declined to comment.

Ben-Haim said she has been staying with a relative as she continued to suffer from trauma related to the incident. She has undergone chest X-rays and was being treated by a doctor.

She said she is considering taking legal action and plans to apply for an expedited visa to weigh her options and recover among family in the U.S.