Ra’am party leader Mansour Abbas has been given additional security following threats against him, Channel 12 News reported on Thursday.
The network said he was being threatened both by Arabs, over his condemnation of the string of deadly terror attacks in Israel, and by far-right nationalists, after opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that the government can’t handle terror because Ra’am is part of the coalition.
Police have begun upgrading security arrangements at Abbas’ home, the network reported.
Sources in Ra’am told Channel 12 that the increased security for Abbas is necessitated only by threats from Jewish nationalists, and not Arabs who disagree with his public condemnation of the terror attacks.
“We must restore peace and security to Israeli citizens,” Netanyahu said on Wednesday to reporters. “Unfortunately everyone sees a government dependent on the Islamic Movement isn’t doing this and probably isn’t capable of doing this.”
Abbas hit back at Netanyahu soon after.
“Last year during [Operation] Guardian of the Walls, we sat three times [with Netanyahu], we held negotiations about a partnership between Likud and Ra’am, and a coalition agreement,” Abbas was quoted as saying by Channel 12 news, using Israel’s official name for the May 2021 Gaza war. Netanyahu was prime minister at the time, and seeking another term.
“Then we weren’t the Islamic Movement?” Abbas asked rhetorically.
Netanyahu’s Likud party responded by claiming it had never held coalition talks with Ra’am. “A government that is dependent on the Islamist Movement can’t really fight terror,” it said in a statement.
Abbas condemned Tuesday night’s terrorist attack in Bnei Brak, in which five Israelis were killed, as “a despicable, vile terror crime against innocent civilians.”
“I share in the grief of the families and wish the wounded a full recovery,” he said on Twitter. “We are all facing a wave of murderous terrorism — all of us, without exception.
“The streets of Israeli cities are filled with Arab and Jewish citizens alike, and those who embark on a vicious killing spree do not notice or differentiate between them.”
The Ra’am leader also condemned the two previous recent deadly terror attacks, in Beersheba and Hadera.