Netanyahu Supporter Charged With Sending Death Threats to Bennett and His Family

The main evidence tying Ilana Sporta Hania to the threatening letters is a lab examination that found that the handwriting on the envelopes fully matches hers

Josh Breiner
Josh Breiner
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Ilana Sporta Hania at the Rishon Letzion Magistrate’s Court, last week.
Ilana Sporta Hania at the Rishon Letzion Magistrate’s Court, last week.Credit: Hadas Parush
Josh Breiner
Josh Breiner

The State Prosecutor's Office has charged a supporter of opposition Benjamin Netanyahu with threatening and extorting Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and his family.

According to an indictment filed on Friday, Ilana Sporta Haniya, 64, sent letters containing death threats and bullets to Bennett and his family. The state is accusing Sporta Hania with extortion by threat and carrying a weapon. She denies all charges against her.

The main evidence tying Sporta Hania to the letters, police say, is a lab examination that found that the handwriting on the envelopes fully matches hers.

In addition, investigators discovered she has sent similar letters in the past to other public figures, including then-Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit, police said.

The two letters were sent one after the other on Passover from a post office in Ashkelon. The first was addressed to Bennett's wife Gilat at her former workplace, and arrived on April 25. The second letter was addressed to their eldest son, 16-year-old Yoni, and arrived on April 28.

Police conducted an undercover investigation on Sporta Hania before arresting her. The investigation found that she had made use of other Netanyahu supporters, without their knowledge, in order to obtain Gilat Bennett's former workplace address.

Sporta Hania, who worked as a nurse, retired five years ago, and is known as an avid Netanyahu supporter.

Her husband, Shmuel Sporta, was also been arrested and questioned last week on suspicion of supplying his wife with the bullets found in the letters. This was later ruled out and police now believe that Sporta Hania operated without the knowledge of others.

Sporta Hania has often referred to Bennett as a "murderer," "swindler," and "traitor," on social media, and has been investigated in the past over one of these posts.

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