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Man given community service over threats to Netanyahu when PM

Asher Ben-Dor of Ashkelon convicted in a plea bargain for 2019 tweet in which he wrote that ‘the time has come’ to assassinate the premier

A protester holds a sign during a protest against Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Oct. 31, 2020. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Illustrative: A protester holds a sign during a protest against then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Oct. 31, 2020. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

The Ashdod Magistrate’s Court ordered a man to perform eight months of community service for threatening opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu during his term as prime minister.

Asher Ben-Dor, a resident of Ashkelon, was also fined NIS 4,500 ($1,425) for violating a commitment to not make threats in the wake of a previous conviction for threatening his partner.

In June 2020 Ben-Dor wrote on Twitter, “Anyone know about preparations to assassinate the prime minister? Anyone know… it seems the time has come, it seems it has become unbearable.”

The 39-year-old reached a deal with state prosecutors in November last year, under which he pleaded guilty in exchange for an amended indictment that dropped one of the two charges against him for issuing a threat.

Still, the prosecution asked the court for Ben-Dor to be sentenced to prison due to an outstanding suspended sentence on his record from 2019 relating to his partner, a request ultiamtely denied by the court.

Ben-Dor was charged amid a crackdown on online threats against the prime minister. 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.”

In June last year, another Ashkelon man was indicted for posting threats against 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

Ben-Dor’s sentencing came after on Sunday a man was charged with harassment over a tweet in which he threatened to sexually assault Sara Netanyahu, the wife of the former prime minister.

Boaz Drori, a 55-year-old resident of the central city of Givatayim, was charged at the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court over the tweet he posted in 2019, when Netanyahu was still in office. In the tweet, Drori, who had around 1,000 followers on Twitter, described a sexual act that he would perform because he was “so patriotic,” effectively threatening to rape the then-prime minister’s wife for the sake of the nation.

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