Grave of Israeli Attorney General's Father Desecrated; Netanyahu Denounces 'Terrifying' Act

Avichai Mendelblit filed police complaint but says he doesn't know why someone would target his father's tombstone ■ Netanyahu orders probe into the incident

Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit at the State Control Committee meeting, December 3, 2018.
Emil Salman

Anonymous vandals desecrated the grave of the father of Israel's Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit, the Israel Television News Company reported Thursday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan to investigate who is responsible for the act of vandalism. "This is a terrifying act that should be denounced," a statement from the premier's bureau read.

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According to the report, the attorney general filed a complaint to the police but could not think why someone would target his father's grave. He discovered that the tombstone was vandalized when he came to the cemetery to mark one year since his mother's death, some ten days ago. Police suspect that the grave was desecrated with a hammer or some other heavy tool.

An initial inquiry found that no other graves were damaged in the area, pointing to the conclusion that the grave of Mendelblit's father was not picked by the perpetrators at random.  

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin also condemned the incident, saying that "the desecration of the grave is a stupid act that deserves to be treated with scorn."

Earlier Thursday, Israeli daily Yisrael Hayom's front page displayed a story in which Likud party officials threatened to orchestrate a "merciless attack" on Mendelblit if he publishes his recommendations on the different corruption cases Netanyahu is embroiled in before the elections.

A different story that was published on the newspaper's social media accounts claimed that the premier himself made the threat in a conversation with his associates.

Netanyahu later adamantly denied the report: "I would like to clarify to the honorable attorney general in a manner that cannot be misinterpreted that there is no truth to this report and that these statements were never made by the prime minister or anyone on his behalf."

The majority of the article addressed statements Netanyahu allegedly made in front of confidants, according to which the prime minister did not intend to resign from his position even if an indictment was filed against him.

According to the report, Netanyahu also said that he did not believe Mendelblit would announce the indictment against him during the election campaign.

The Likud released an official statement in response to the report: "The claim that Prime Minister Netanyahu said these things is not true, because Netanyahu didn't speak to anybody about this. No one in the Likud is threatening the attorney general. The threats and pressure to file an indictment against Netanyahu at any price and in any case come on a daily basis from the left and from the media."