A senior police official has been accused of promulgating false imputations of planned violence at leftwing anti-government demonstrations.
Deputy Police Chief Ziv Sagiv read from a bogus social media post on a Channel 13 news program on Motzei Shabbos which talked about using tear gas and tasers in clashes with police, and asserting “they can be used and sprayed legally.”
Just before Sagiv went public with the material, he was asked by a reporter if the post was authentic, since there were tell-tale signs it was phony. Sagiv expressed confidence in its validity, according to Channel 13 reporter Baruch Kra.
The group Crime Minister, which allegedly made the post, immediately denied it had anything to do with it, and said it would sue for libel.
“It is amazing to see how the messages of false incitement from Balfour [the street where the Prime Minister’s Residence is located] are miraculously repeated by senior police officers on live TV and without any scrutiny!”
Gonen Ben Yitzhak, a lawyer and a leader of the group, vowed legal action. “This will not pass in silence,” he wrote in a real tweet.
Police subsequently said they were opening an investigation into the matter. In the meantime, they issued an acknowledgment of the denial:
“Recently, a statement was issued by a spokesperson for Crime Minister announcing that the post calling for the use of tear gas and other dangerous weapons was not published by it and that it was fake news,” the statement read.