Benny Gantz has “clearly lost it” and is “displaying signs of advanced paranoia,” the Likud said in a statement, after audio recordings of the Blue and White party leader indicated that he was afraid that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was out to murder him.
The recordings, broadcast on Channel 13, purport to represent Gantz speaking to a closed group of supporters, discussing, among other things, the hack of his cellphone, attributed to Iranian hackers. In the discussion, Gantz proposed that the hackers were perhaps not Iranian, but Russian – and that they were in league with Netanyahu.
In response to a question about possible collaboration between Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Gantz said that that there was a “reasonable basis” to say that Netanyahu had worked with the Russians to compromise his phone. “If it wasn’t the Iranians, there are two other possibilities,” Gantz is heard saying on the tape. “One is that they [presumably Netanyahu] used cyber experts to hack my phone, and the other – and this would be very characteristic of Netanyahu – to use the Russians to carry out this attack.” Netanyahu, he said, hates him so much that “if he could he would kill me,” Gantz said.
When asked what he thought Netanyahu would do after the election, Gantz said that “Netanyahu knows he is going to prison, no matter what the scenario. If he wins, he will end up in prison in the end, and even if he avoids prison, he will still be in prison – the one featuring his wife Sarah, and she is always in the one place he feels free, his office.”
In its statement, the Likud said “after Gantz accused Netanyahu of being a traitor, he now accuses him of sending agents to murder him. If Benny Gantz displays this kind of paranoia, after just two weeks of pressure in the election campaign and after the Iranians hacked his phone, how can he run this country?”