Man Arrested for Threatening anti-Netanyahu Protesters on Telegram

Ashkelon resident, who allegedly sent threatening messages to members of 'Black Flags' protest movement, was released on condition that he not approach demonstration or other gathering for 100 days

Almog Ben Zikri
Almog Ben Zikri
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A Black Flags demonstration at Kibbutz Lahav in southern Israel, October 10, 2020
A Black Flags demonstration at Kibbutz Lahav in southern Israel, October 10, 2020Credit: Eliyahu Hershkovitz
Almog Ben Zikri
Almog Ben Zikri

An Ashkelon resident was arrested on Saturday on suspicion of threatening to harm anti-Netanyahu demonstrators.

Hadar Bashiri, 25, is alleged to have threatened protesters from the "Black Flags" movement, sending them messages on Telegram in which he expressed an intent to harm them.

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Police refused to disclose the contents of the threats, but said that some were callous and harassing, and therefore they decided to arrest Bashiri. He was released on the condition that he not approach a demonstration or any other gathering for 100 days.

Bashiri's father signed and gave financial guarantees, as one of the conditions for his son's release.

According to an investigation published by Haaretz last week, out of dozens of cases of violence against demonstrators reported and documented in recent months, an indictment was filed in only one case – against Felix Iliayev, a Sderot resident accused of stabbing a Black Flag protester in the neck with a sharp object at an anti-Netanyahu protest in July.

Many demonstrators who Haaretz spoke to described a crisis of confidence in the police. According to them, the police are not sufficiently present at sites where protesters are attacked, and are apparently in no hurry to formulate the evidentiary basis needed to file an indictment against suspects.