Ashkelon man indicted for making death threats against Netanyahu online

In Facebook profile dedicated to his proclaimed hatred of the Netanyahu family, Tzvi Sabag made posts promising their funerals and ‘bitter end’ were imminent

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the first Cabinet meeting of the new government in the Knesset, on May 24, 2020. (Abir Sultan/Pool Photo via AP)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the first Cabinet meeting of the new government in the Knesset, on May 24, 2020. (Abir Sultan/Pool Photo via AP)

An Ashkelon man was indicted Thursday at the city’s magistrate’s court for making online threats against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as his wife and eldest son.

Tzvi Sabag, 57, was accused of penning Facebook posts with direct threats against the premier in November of last year.

Sabag created the Facebook account in November, using as his profile picture a picture of a hangman’s noose superimposed on a photo of Netanyahu. In his profile’s “about” section, Sabag wrote: “Hate to death Benjamin, Sara and Yair Netanyahu and all who cooperate with them.”

In one post, Sabag wrote that police should prepare to guide traffic to the funerals of the three.

In other posts, he said Netanyahu’s son Yair should soon “die and leave this world” and threatened that “millions of bodyguards won’t be able to prevent your bitter end.”

As Israel marked the 24th anniversary of the assassination of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, Sabag wrote: “If there is one conclusion I reached on the eve of the anniversary, it is that Bibi should get a bullet in the head!”

Sabag was arrested and questioned in November after the prime minister filed a police complaint against him. He was later released, with the court ruling he could not use Facebook or come near the prime minister’s home or family.

Netanyahu has recently made several complaints to police over threats to harm him and his family.

Earlier this month he made such accusations against an unspecified social media user he said had threatened to murder him and his wife.

Also this month, a man was arrested for threatening Netanyahu in a social media post, the Israel Police said, without providing further details on the threats. The suspect, a 21-year-old resident of the north of Israel, was arrested by the cyber unit of the police’s Lahav 433 national crime squad.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife, Sara Netanyahu, together with their son Yair at a Hannukah event, on December 13, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Last month, left-wing activist Haim Shadmi was called in for questioning under caution by police for allegedly threatening Yair Netanyahu. The questioning came after a video clip released by the prime minister showed a demonstration outside his official residence, in which a masked demonstrator, Shadmi, said: “Yair, remember our promise. It seems far-fetched. Believe us, we told you all along, we know why you need security guards… one day you’ll be without guards and then… who knows?”

Yair Netanyahu is intensely active online. He has a history of posting incendiary messages on social media and tweets fast and often against those he believes have wronged him and his family.

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