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Man suspected of threatening Lapid: ‘I want to murder you with a sniper rifle’

Police launch investigation into resident of northern Israel over social media post against the premier

Prime Minister Yair Lapid attends the opening ceremony for a new emergency room at Ichilov Hospital, in Tel Aviv, July 28, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
Prime Minister Yair Lapid attends the opening ceremony for a new emergency room at Ichilov Hospital, in Tel Aviv, July 28, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Police have opened an investigation into a resident of northern Israel for a suspected death threat against Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

“I want to murder you today with a sniper rifle,” the suspect wrote in response to a social media post by Lapid, according to the Ynet news site.

The probe is being led by the Israel Police Lahav 433’s cyber unit.

In March 2021, police arrested a man for making threats online to kill Lapid — who was then opposition leader — ahead of elections that year.

The latest reported threat came a week after the Walla news site said the premier’s wife, Lihi Lapid, received messages wishing that her family would suffer violent death or terminal cancer.

Lapid’s predecessor Naftali Bennett and his family were also subject of death threats when he was in office.

In May, right-wing political activist Ilana Sporta Hania was arrested and indicted after sending two letters containing bullets to Bennett, his wife and his teenage son, threatening their safety if the then-prime minister did not resign.

That same month the Beersheba District Court sentenced Asher Ben-Dor to 13 months in prison for tweets he wrote in 2020 that included indications he wanted to kill former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his son Yair. Netanyahu was prime minister at the time.

Other ministers in the Lapid and Bennett government also received threats since forming their coalition in June 2021.

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