‘This bullet will hit your son’: Suspect to be charged for threats to Bennett family
Right-wing activist Ilana Sporta Hania to be indicted for sending letters with bullets to PM and his family; investigation finds she previously threatened former AG Mandelblit
Police said Wednesday they intend to charge right-wing political activist Ilana Sporta Hania for sending threatening letters containing bullets to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and his family.
Hania, a 65-year-old retired nurse from Ashkelon, was arrested last week on suspicion that she sent two letters containing bullets to Bennett and his wife, as well as his teenage son, threatening their safety if the prime minister did not resign.
On Wednesday, details of the two letters, which were sent last month, were released to the press.
The first letter read: “This is the bullet that will hit and neutralize your Gilat the crook, or you Naftali Bennett the crook. I advise you to resign.”
The letter was addressed to Bennett and his wife, Gilat, and was delivered, with a bullet, to a building adjacent to the family home where Gilat’s office is located.
Two days later, a letter addressed directly to Yoni Bennett, the couple’s 15-year-old son, also with a bullet, was sent to the family home in Ra’anana.
“This is the bullet that will hit your soft underbelly Naftali Bennett and directly hit Yoni Bennett if you do not resign,” warned the letter,.
According to the investigation, Hania tried to enlist the help of other political activists — without their knowledge — mainly to obtain the workplace address of Gilat Bennett, the premier’s wife. Ultimately, police concluded that Hania alone was responsible for the threats.
While laboratories have matched Hania’s handwriting to the threatening letters, law enforcement officials still do not know where she got the bullets from.
Analysts found that Hania had previously sent a threatening letter to then-attorney general Avichai Mandelblit for his decision to press charges against Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister at the time.
A source in the investigation told the Kan public broadcaster that while Hania made mistakes, she also “took precautions that sophisticated criminals wouldn’t be ashamed of.”
Hania appeared in court on Wednesday and her detention was extended for five days. After she is charged, prosecutors intend to request she be held in custody until the end of the proceedings.
Details emerged last week of Hania’s history of activism in support of Likud and Netanyahu, and against the current government. She has been investigated in the past for threatening politicians with whom she disagrees. In September, Hania was filmed calling on New Hope MK Benny Begin — a former Likud member — to drown himself in the ocean.
Last week, police told the court that on social media Hania had in the past called the prime minister a “murderer,” a “traitor” and a “swindler.” On her Facebook page, Hania called Bennett and Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar “traitors on steroids” and called for Bennett to be arrested, as well as saying the government was illegitimate and that the state prosecution was a criminal organization.
She suggested that Foreign Minister Yair Lapid “logs more miles than a black box — but when will only the black box remain?” Hania also wrote that Public Security Minister Omer Barlev should “drink water from the Kishon,” the toxic river that made IDF soldiers ill. She also uploaded a post saying that Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli was wearing boots like those that “the Nazis wore in concentration camps.”
On Friday, Netanyahu condemned the threats made by Hania. Posting on his channel on the Telegram app, the opposition leader spoke out against “all types of violence against the prime minister or any other person,” and added that if it is proven that Hania is guilty, she would be expelled from Likud.
Police have investigated several threats against the prime minister in the past, usually made over social media. In the wake of the letters, they reinforced security around the premier and his family.