Gantz under increased security after life threats surface online

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Knesset’s serjeant-at-arms gives order after several hateful and inciteful posts targeting Gantz and other Blue & White senior officials circulate online over the weekend

Yuval Karni-  https://www.ynetnews.com

Knesset’s chief security officer ordered to tighten personal security measures around Blue & White Chairman Benny Gantz starting Sunday morning following threats he received on social media.

Parliament’s serjeant-at-arms Yosef Griff informed Gantz’s team of the new security protocol Saturday evening.

The incident was brought to Griff’s attention after several hateful and inciteful posts targeting Gantz and other Blue & White senior officials circulated online over the weekend.

Some users implied, or outright argued, that Gantz should share the same fate as former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin who was assassinated in November 1995.

“They should murder Gantz at Rabin Square [in Tel Aviv] and so he could join Rabin,” wrote one user on Facebook.

“[Gantz] will end up like Rabin. This moron still doesn’t get it,” wrote a Twitter user named Sari, who presents herself as a staunch supporter of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Gantz addressed Saturday evening the incitement against him and his party’s senior officials and directly blamed Netanyahu for invoking hate among his constituents.

“We are just five days after the hardest, most hate-filled election campaign in the history of our nation and Israeli society,” said the former IDF chief. “Netanyahu, the public atmosphere and the threats are very worrying to every national leader. Again, posters of leaders with keffiyehs [traditional Arab headdress] and, again, you remain silent.”

Incitement is rampant everywhere and you remain silent. I won’t allow you to sow hatred and bring about the first modern civil war. The atmosphere is very worrying.”

“On the basis of the public’s decision, I have decided to form a strong and stable government that will cure Israel of hatred and division and let us all move forward,” the centrist leader told journalists, announcing an end to the “Netanyahu era” in Israeli politics.

“I will do anything I can to prevent a fourth election,” Gantz said.

Gantz also told Saturday evening he was verbally abused by an individual who tried to approach and confront him, as he was about to give a speech in Ramat Gan.

The attacker was removed by Gantz’s personal security guard, but the Blue & White leader said he preferred to respond positively and wanted to shake the man’s hand. However, the man continued to yell at him.

According to the latest election counts, Netanyahu’s Likud party won 36 seats in the next Knesset, followed by Blue & White that obtained 33 seats.

However, neither party is currently able to form a viable majority government, as both Likud’s right-religious bloc and Blue & White’s center-left bloc failed to secure the 61 seats needed for a majority in the 120-strong Knesset.

The final results are expected to be published on Sunday.

 

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