Security upped around MK Smotrich, family after threatening letter
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Security upped around MK Smotrich, family after threatening letter

Knesset Guard says man came to parliament building Monday night with letter targeting URWP co-leader

Head of the National Union party, MK Bezalel Smotrich, casts his ballot at a voting station in the West Bank settlement of Kedumim during the Knesset Elections on April 9, 2019. (Hillel Maeir/Flash90)
Head of the National Union party, MK Bezalel Smotrich, casts his ballot at a voting station in the West Bank settlement of Kedumim during the Knesset Elections on April 9, 2019. (Hillel Maeir/Flash90)

Security was increased on Tuesday around MK Bezalel Smotrich, the co-leader of the Union of Right-Wing Parties, after a man arrived at the Knesset the previous evening with a letter threatening him.

“Someone came to the Knesset and brought a handwritten letter targeting Bezalel,” the Knesset Guard, a security unit, said. “Incitement against Bezalel. Police has increased surveillance around his home.”

Smotrich confirmed that he had been contacted by the Knesset Guard and informed of the decision to increase security around him and his family.

A police vehicle on Tuesday morning came to his home in the West Bank settlement of Kedumim to search the perimeter and brief his family on the threats.

Officers also accompanied Smotrich when he went to vote, but the threat level didn’t require them to to follow him around personally wherever he goes.

A police vehicle remained outside the Smotrich family home.

Union of Right Wing Parties MK Bezalel Smotrich walks into a polling station in the northern West Bank settlement of Kedumim on April 9, 2019. (Hillel Maeir/Flash90)

Hebrew-language media reports didn’t detail the content of the letter, but they linked the incident to a recording of him that was aired Monday evening by Channel 12 saying that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had promised his faction the Education and Justice ministries if Netanyahu’s Likud party leads the next government.

“We had very clear agreements with Netanyahu — two senior portfolios. It was clear to everyone that the Education and Justice ministries were meant to stay in our hands,” Smotrich said at a closed meeting of party activists.

Jewish Home, headed by Rafi Peretz, merged with Smotrich’s National Union and the extremist Otzma Yehudit to form the URWP.

“The portfolios that were ours remain ours. That’s the agreement. I suggest you don’t get alarmed by Netanyahu’s denials,” Smotrich said.

Likud flatly denied the report.

“This is a complete fabrication. The Education Ministry will remain with Likud,” the party said.

Smotrich’s office claimed the leak was the work of a left-wing activist who was planted at the meeting in order to damage right-wing parties ahead of elections, the report said.

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