Beersheba man charged for social media post threatening Netanyahu

Beersheba man charged for social media post threatening Netanyahu

Asher Ben Dor tweeted question as to whether anyone knew of plans to assassinate PM; suspect said to tell arresting officers he is now a ‘political prisoner’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on June 28, 2020. (Ronen Zvulun/Pool/AFP)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on June 28, 2020. (Ronen Zvulun/Pool/AFP)

An indictment was filed Tuesday against a Beersheba resident who is accused of threatening Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on social media.

The man, 39, was arrested Monday following an investigation by the Lahav 433 national crime unit’s cyber division.

He was identified by Hebrew media as Asher Ben Dor.

The indictment came amid a recent crackdown on those making online threats against the prime minister.

According to court papers filed at the Ashkelon Magistrate’s Court, Ben Dor tweeted two weeks ago: “Anyone know about preparations to assassinate the prime minister? Anyone know…it seems the time has come, it seems to be that it has become unbearable.”

He also allegedly threatened Netayahu’s son, Yair, tweeting, “Yair, my dear, every dog has its day. What is going on? Your home is shaking? The walls are thin, we can hear your heart beating.”

Police said the remark was intended to either scare or to tease the younger Netanyahu, the Haaretz daily reported.

In court, Ben Dor told the court he wrote the tweets “in the heat of the moment.”

“The prime minister himself says things and afterwards ‘expresses regret’ and that is okay? I am not a violent man,” he said.

After his arrest, Ben Dor reportedly told a police officer, “I am under arrest only because it was the prime minister who complained. Now that I am under arrest he should die now, the bastard, he should die now, this a political arrest.”

Israelis protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside the prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem, June 27, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/FLASH90)

Police asked that the suspect be held until the end of proceedings given his criminal past of domestic violence and other violent crimes, according to the report. The force argued Ben Dor could be a threat to public safety as well as to the prime minister and his family.

Last month an Ashkelon man was indicted for posting threats to Netanyahu on social media. Tzvi Sabag, 57, was accused of penning Facebook posts with direct threats against the premier in November of last year and also threatening Yair Netanyahu.

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

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

Also in June, a man was arrested for threatening Netanyahu in a social media post, 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.

In this January 23, 2020, photo, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and son Yair, left, in Tel Aviv (Aleksey Nikolskyi/Sputnik Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

A month earlier, 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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