The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group on Monday threatened the life of far-right Otzma Yehudit leader Itamar Ben Gvir, who responded by promising to “crush” the Gaza-based terror group.
A spokesman for Islamic Jihad’s West Bank division warned that Ben Gvir’s “fate will be the same as that of Rehavam Ze’evi, the proponent of [population] transfers.”
Ze’evi, who advocated for the transfer of Arabs out of Israel and the West Bank, was assassinated by Palestinian terrorists in 2001, while serving as tourism minister.
The Otzma Yehudit chief is a disciple of the late extremist rabbi Meir Kahane, who similarly advocated for a forceable transfer policy, though Ben Gvir recently distanced himself from that position and now says he only wants to expel “disloyal” Arabs.
The statement from Islamic Jihad also referred to Ben Gvir’s expected appointment as the next police minister, warning it would “accelerate his death.”
In response, Ben Gvir said that “the threats of a terror organization won’t deter me. We are determined to restore security to Israel.”
He called for the immediate establishment of a right-wing government so that “we can crush the Islamic Jihad.”
Ben Gvir has faced death threats several other times over the past year, with the Shin Bet security service announcing in May that it foiled a plot by the Hamas terror group to assassinate him.
Otzma Yehudit is part of the right-religious bloc led by presumed prime minister-to-be Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been working to assemble a coalition since his Likud party and allied factions secured a majority of Knesset seats in the November 1 election.