Blue and White party head Benny Gantz appeared in public with bodyguards for the first time Thursday following recent threats against the former army chief of staff on social media.
Gantz attended a meeting with Blue and White party activists in a Jerusalem cafe with the security personnel, according to Channel 12 news. His associates previously warned of “serious incitement” against the candidate, including death wishes, with the severity of the threats reportedly increasing as the April 9 elections near.
Gantz is a private individual, not a public official, and does not have access to Shin Bet or Knesset security personnel.
A television poll Thursday put the ruling Likud party in a dead heat with Blue and White at 30 Knesset seats apiece, less than two weeks ahead of elections.
Blue and White, an alliance of Gantz’s Israel Resilience and Yair Lapid’s centrist Yesh Atid party, has seen its lead over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud in polls gradually slip since its formation last month.