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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Tel Aviv - Nazir Magally

Israel’s Shin Bet Boosts Security Measures for Netanyahu, Gantz

Israeli former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gives a speech during a right-wing demonstration in central Jerusalem against violence and current government on April 6, 2022. (dpa)

Israel’s intelligence agency (Shin Bet) announced Thursday boosting the security measures for Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu.

Security sources in Israel expected further reinforcement due to the increased threats both figures have been facing during the election campaign period, which ends on November 1.

“In recent years, there have been incessant threats to harm me, my wife and sons, and even to murder them, including in the last six months,” said Netanyahu in a video posted on social media.

“A far left-wing organization, which calls itself ‘CRIME MINISTER’ issued another direct threat to harm my wife and sons,” Netanyahu added.

In early 2022, Netanyahu and his family members received two letters threatening their lives.

“Yair the bastard, we are four Israelis abroad, we will arrive in Israel soon to kill you and your garbage father, and also your mother. Death will die soon. Wait for us. We will arrive very soon,” the first letter to his son Yair read.

“Death to Sarah, death to Yair, soon. We are on our way. We want to see their blood in front of the streets of Caesarea. Death to them. Then it will be Bibi the criminal’s turn. The State of Israel must be free of all members of the Netanyahu family,” the second letter read.

The hate rhetoric and violence acts have recently increased as the election day approaches.

Israel’s police registered many violations and exchanged accusations.

Twitter has removed a foreign network of fake accounts caught trying to sway Israeli public discourse ahead of the elections.

The network, which was discovered by Israeli civil monitor Fake Reporter, included over 40 fake accounts that were run from outside Israel.

The account pushed content seemingly promoting politician Itamar Ben-Gvir, likely with the aim of amplifying political tensions within Israel's far-right camp.

The accounts are believed to be run by foreign actors outside of Israel.

“The network focused on MK Itamar Ben-Gvir: Responded to his tweets, showed support for him and encouraged his running alone in an attempt to separate him and Religious Zonism head Bezalel Smotrich, who leads their joint slate. The profiles promoted messages calling for Ben-Gvir to run on a separate slate from Smotrich ‘at the last moment,’ a day before the [last day to submit party slates] for the Knesset,” Fake Reporter said in its report.

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