Raanana Resident Indicted for Threatening PM’s Life

YERUSHALAYIM -
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty, Pool)

A 28-year-old Raanana resident was indicted Sunday for threatening to murder Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. The suspect will face arraignment in a Petach Tikvah court Sunday.

According to the indictment, the suspect called police and told the operator that he “planned to do this for a long time. If the Prime Minister dies it will be because I killed him. Let there not be any doubts about this,” adding that he would use “any means necessary” to kill Netanyahu. Police traced the call and arrested him. He has been sent for psychological evaluation to determine if he is fit for trial. Police did not release information on his political sympathies, if any.

In a statement, police said that “given the situation it was decided to prefer the safety of the Prime Minister over the restriction of freedom for the suspect. Thus he will remain in custody. Crimes such as these require extra attention,” the statement said.

The arrest comes a day after the 23rd annual rally commemorating the murder of former Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin. In a social media message Saturday night, Netanyahu protested the ongoing blame by the left for the murder of Rabin on rightwing Israelis. “It’s a shame that they turned this event into a political one,” he said. “Those who preach the loudest for freedom of expression are the ones who shut people up when they disagree with them.”

Netanyahu was responding to the shouting down of government minister Tzachi Hanegbi by the crowd. Invited to speak at the event by organizers, Hanegbi, to the sounds of catcalls and boos throughout his speech, Hanegbi said that, “when the murderer [Yigal Amir] committed his despicable act, I and many of my colleagues in my party felt the same way many Israelis on the other side of the political fence felt – pain and terrible suffering. If I had been there I would have gladly taken a bullet for Rabin. We must remember that we are brothers. That is the only way to keep our country together, the country Rabin fought to establish and defend. He was murdered for following his beliefs, a path I did not agree with.”