13 months in jail for man who tweeted about wanting to kill Netanyahu and his son

People ‘hiding behind a keyboard’ should ‘expect a harsh punishment and jail time,’ prosecution says of Asher Ben David

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and son Yair in Tel Aviv, January 23, 2020. (Aleksey Nikolskyi/Sputnik Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and son Yair in Tel Aviv, January 23, 2020. (Aleksey Nikolskyi/Sputnik Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

A Beersheba resident was jailed for 13 months on Wednesday for tweets in which he wrote about wanting to kill former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his son Yair.

Asher Ben David was initially sentenced to eight months of community service and a NIS 1,500 ($445) fine. However, the Beersheba District Court accepted an appeal filed by the prosecution that argued that the magistrate’s court decision was too lenient.

Ben David has admitted that in 2020, he tweeted: “Does anyone know about preparations for assassinating the prime minister? Does someone know… I’d love to take part… it seems that the time has come, I think we’re up to our necks in it.”

Days later, Ben David threatened Netanyahu’s son Yair as well. “Yair, buddy, what goes around comes around… you’re nervous… what’s wrong, is your house shaking? The walls are thin, I can hear your heartbeats.”

“Everyone hiding behind a keyboard should know before they dare to spew comments like this and putting them in the public sphere, that they should expect a harsh punishment and jail time,” the prosecution argued, according to Channel 12 news.

Beersheba District Court justices Yoel Eden, Geula Levin and Itai Bresler-Gonen noted the importance of “denouncing and being strict with those who seek to affect governance and change the actions of elected officials through threats and to use this method to have an impact on the democratic system.”

Illustrative — Beersheba District Court on December 1, 2019 (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

The court ruling came as police announced that they would indict a woman accused of sending threatening notes to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and his family.

Netanyahu supporter Ilana Sporta Hania, 65, from Ashkelon, was arrested last week on suspicion that she sent two letters to Bennett’s wife and son containing bullets, threatening their safety if the prime minister did not resign.

Upon her arrest, police said that both letters contained “detailed murder threats” against the Bennetts and security officials believe whoever sent them had “gathered information” about the family.

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