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Likud backers seen stabbing photos of Bennett, Lapid at anti-government protest

Police open probe into matter, which joins series of acts of incitement by far-right activists targeting members of new coalition

Likud supporters protest outside the home of Yamina MK Ayelet Shaked in Tel Aviv on May 30, 2021. (Flash90)
Likud supporters protest outside the home of Yamina MK Ayelet Shaked in Tel Aviv on May 30, 2021. (Flash90)

Activists for Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party were photographed stabbing photos of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid during a Jerusalem protest against the new government on Thursday evening.

Police told Hebrew media outlets that they had opened an investigation into the matter.

No officers were present during the demonstration underneath the capital’s Chords Bridge, which was attended by roughly 200 people.

The incident on Thursday followed a series of acts of incitement by far-right activists targeting members of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s government, which was sworn in on June 13.

Days before the swearing-in, a notice was disseminated on social media urging the public to invoke a “Pulsa Dinura” — a Kabbalist death curse that literally translates to “lashes of fire” — against the “evil Bennett.”

A Petah Tikva municipality worker also posted a video of himself performing the ritual against Yamina MK Nir Orbach, who had weighed voting against the formation of the new government but ultimately decided to back it.

Also last month, police opened an investigation into photos of Bennett disseminated on social media showing the Yamina chairman wearing a Keffiyeh, akin to posters of former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin that were waved by right-wing activists at protests ahead of his assassination.

Bennett has faced considerable uproar from right-wingers, including many who voted for him over his decision to form a unity government with centrist and left-wing parties.

The prime minister has justified the move, saying the right-wing bloc in the Knesset didn’t have the majority necessary to form a coalition and that a fifth election in just over two years would have had disastrous ramifications for the country.

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