A man has been arrested and taken for questioning on suspicion of assassination of Yesh Atid party chairman Yair Lapid, police said Monday.
Police said the suspect from the city of Beit Shemesh is posting threats against Lapid online who said he will face the murder of a leader even if he is jailed for it.
A study found that the 30-year-old was abroad at the time of the online threats.
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The suspect made the threats in a social media reference, police said, without identifying which social media platform he made the comments on or where he was overseas.
Thousands of Israelis have been embroiled abroad with coronavirus restrictions in recent months, but the government has been gradually lifting entry restrictions, partly to allow voting in Tuesday’s election.
The suspect will be transferred to Jerusalem for questioning by the police, and on Tuesday will be taken to the Jerusalem Magistrates’ Court, where police are expected to demand his detention.
“No one is going to scare us. A culture of hatred will be replaced by a culture of hatred, division and encouragement that will unite all Israeli citizens. It’s all up to you. Take a vote and let it be the case on sanitation, ”said Lapid in response to the police report.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been campaigning hard against Lapid and trying to pit the politician of the heart against all opposition parties, including his rivals on right Gideon Sa’ar of New Hope and Naftali Bennett of Yamina.
There have been a series of violent incidents in recent weeks, particularly between Netanyahu’s supporters and his opponents, as the heat turns up before the election.
Critics have long complained of the chief’s incitement against his rivals and supporters, including in recent weeks.
Earlier this month, protesters from Likud Netanyahu’s party challenged members of the New Hope party in at least two incidents.
Sa’ar blamed the protagonist for the violence, saying, “Netanyahu crossed a red line.”
On Sunday, Netanyahu’s supporters rushed in supporters of Labor party leader Merav Michaeli in Tel Aviv.
Michaeli persuaded Netanyahu to deny what had happened.
Violence erodes the foundations of democracy. You were silent against this violence against him [assassinated prime minister Yitzhak] Rabin and we all know how this ends. We will not be intimidated by this violence, ”she said in a video statement.
A number of violent incidents against demonstrators have also been recorded at anti-Netanyahu rallies over the past few months.
Netanyahu has also accused protesters of threatening him and his family.
Last year, several men were arrested for online threats against Netanyahu and other public figures.
Israelis go to the polls for the fourth time in two years on Tuesday, in an election largely seen as a referendum on Netanyahu, his lawsuit, and how his government handled it the pandemic.