Police Arrest Man Suspected of Threatening Netanyahu on Facebook

Incident comes a day after Netanyahu filed a complaint with the police about death threats made against him in November

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Haaretz
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Netanyahu, wearing a face mask, chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on May 31, 2020.
Netanyahu, wearing a face mask, chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on May 31, 2020.Credit: AFP
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Haaretz

Israel Police arrested Monday a man suspected of posting threats against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Facebook.

The man, a 21-year-old soldier from northern Israel, posted on Facebook that the state isn't doing anything to stamp out agricultural crimes.

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“The police hand out fines to those who go to the beach and don’t wear a mask [amid the coronavirus crisis] but stealing is okay. I hope the fruit thieves, Netanyahu and the Israel Police get stoned to death,” the man wrote.

Replying to one of the comments to his post, the 21-year-old soldier added: “Bibi and the entire government are garbage. They spent their days passing laws against the citizens. They probably all deserve to die by stoning."

The cyber division of the police’s Lahav 433 unit launched a probe into the matter, and will ask the Rishon Letzion’s Magistrate's Court to extend the suspect’s custody.

On Monday, Netanyahu announced on Twitter that he filed a complaint with the police about death threats made against him in a comment published in November.

The image Netanyahu attached to his tweet of a comment on the Haaretz website threatening him and his family.Credit: Screenshot

A senior police commander came to the Prime Minister’s Residence to take testimony.

Netanyahu tweeted that he filed one complaint about “a series of threats to murder me and members of my family” several days ago. “Today, I regretfully was forced to file another complaint against a lowlife who described how he plans to murder me and my family.”

The prime minister attached a screenshot to his Twitter message indicating that the source of his new complaint is a comment published in November on the Haaretz website. After Netanyahu’s complaint was filed, someone complained about the comment. It was sent consequently to be examined by an editor and was removed from the website.

About two weeks ago, an indictment was submitted against a 40-year-old resident in the north for incitement to violence, after he posted calls on his Facebook page for Netanyahu’s murder and for the death of Labor Party Chairman Amir Peretz and Labor Minister Itzik Shmuli. The man’s lawyer said that he submitting a psychiatric evaluation that states that he is not fit to stand trial.

According to the indictment filed in the Hadera Magistrate’s Court, the accused wrote on his Facebook page a few days ago: “I don’t have a life anyway, so I’m willing to be the ‘monkey’ who will serve a prison sentence in your stead if you assassinate Benjamin Netanyahu. Simply say that you received an order from me.”

Later, the accused published another post, stating: “Kill Benjamin Netanyahu and God will owe you. I’ll defend you, just please do it already, it’s intolerable. Put an end to this story like its beginning. You won’t be sent to prison for the rest of your life. On the contrary: You’ll be heroes for future generations.”

Netanyahu filed a complaint in early May against demonstrator Haim Shadmi for inciting to violence against him and against his son Yair. Shadmi was filmed in front of the Prime Minister’s Residence calling for an incendiary device to be thrown at the place and making other threats. Yair Netanyahu also filed a complaint with the police against him, alleging incitement and threats.

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