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Police increase security around far-right MK Ben Gvir amid death threats

Firebrand lawmaker will now have up to three security guards with him in public places, security cameras installed at his home

Religious Zionism MK Itamar Ben Gvir visits in Kafr Qasim, on October 5, 2021. (Yossi Zeliger/Flash90)
Religious Zionism MK Itamar Ben Gvir visits in Kafr Qasim, on October 5, 2021. (Yossi Zeliger/Flash90)

Police have increased the level of security for far-right MK Itamar Ben Gvir, after receiving information about express threats to his life, Channel 13 news reported Sunday.

The report said police have determined that the threat level to Ben Gvir is 5 out of a maximum of 6. He therefore will have as many as three security guards with him in public places, and have security cameras installed at his home.

The decision follows a series of altercations involving the firebrand lawmaker.

Last month, the Knesset security chief summoned Ben Gvir for a talk after he waved a pistol during an argument with Arab parking attendants in Tel Aviv who told him to remove his vehicle from a prohibited spot.

Ben Gvir was called in for “a refresher on procedures,” according to Hebrew media reports.

Lawmakers from both coalition and opposition parties called for further investigation into the circumstances of the incident, with a focus on Ben Gvir’s suitability to have a gun permit. However, one of the parking attendants, in retelling the incident to media, said the Religious Zionism lawmaker had been handed the gun by someone who was accompanying him.

Following his meeting with Knesset security officials, Ben Gvir dismissed the criticism, saying that “what bothers them is not that I held a gun in my hand but that I dared to defend myself.”

Though it was unclear whom the weapon belonged to, Ben Gvir lives in a Jewish enclave of the West Bank city of Hebron and, as such, would likely be eligible to obtain a gun license for self-defense, like other Israelis living in settlements.

In October, he was involved in a physical clash with an Arab lawmaker, MK Ayman Odeh, who leads the predominantly Arab Joint List party. The two confronted each other at the Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot, where a Palestinian hunger striker suspected of terrorism was being treated.

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