Israel Ramps Up Security after Prime Minister Receives Death Threat
Israeli officials have increased security around Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and his family after he received a letter containing a death threat and a live bullet.
According to CBN News, Israeli police said the letter was sent to a building next to Bennet's family home in the Israeli city of Ra'anana.
A court-imposed gag order has limited details on the investigation, but local news reported that the letter contained "detailed murder threats" to the prime minister and his family.
Bennett addressed the threat on Twitter.
"Political conflict, no matter how deep, doesn't need to come to violence, thuggery and death threats," he said.
"I am prime minister and a politician, but I am also a husband and father, and my obligation is to protect my wife and children," Bennett added. "We must lower the flames of the political discourse."
Bennett's supporters and coalition members said a death threat was "inconceivable."
"It is inconceivable that in a Jewish country, its leader will face a danger from within. The police will find whomever lifted a hand against Israeli democracy and bring him to justice," said Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked.
Reports said that Shaked has also had to increase her security.
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said the threat "is a sad and dangerous reminder of where incitement could lead."
"We will continue to fight the hate discourse on the street, in networks, everywhere. They will not scare us. The extremists will not defeat the sane majority," he said.
But far-right leader Bezalel Smotrich, a longtime critic of Bennett, said he wondered if the letter was authentic.
"I wonder whether publicizing this investigation is not a spin meant to improve Bennett's standing in the public and to delegitimize the right and its protests against the prime minister," he said.
This isn't the first time the prime minister has faced a threat. In August, police arrested a 23-year-old for a threatening Facebook comment. That same month, police also detained another resident over apparent threats.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Pool
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.