Israeli Shin Bet Director Avi Dichter told Yesha Council settlers leaders in a Wednesday meeting that the agency has no concrete warnings of extreme right-wing intentions to attack political or public figures.
As well, Israeli Public Security Minister Tzachi Hangebi, who earlier said that ‘the next political assassin is already among us’, told Israel Radio on Wednesday that there was no concrete evidence on a specific threat.
After a heated debate over real right wing extremists threats against public figures, including Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, apparently security officials are scaling down the importance of their earlier security evaluation.
In their meeting with Dichter, Yesha Council officials clarified that they opposes all forms of violence.
Following their meeting, the Yesha Council said Dichter clarified that in his recent remarks he was referring to far-right extremists not representative of the settler public.
Lapid: Investigating Extremism Must Not Suppress Free Speech
In reaction to the warnings by the Israeli Security service, Minister of Justice, Yousef Lapid on Wednesday cautioned that itch for investigating extremist threats must not affect the right to free speech in Israel.
Shin Bet chief Avi Dichter and Public Security Minister Tzachi Hanegbi has warned this week that an extremist threat is brewing on the right in reaction to the government’s disengagement plan.
State’s Attorney General Menachem Mazuz was scheduled to meet with Dichter on Wednesday to discuss how to counter a growing threat of violent extremism in Israel, yet the meeting was postponed to next week.
Lapid slightly marginalized these warnings, as he has no concrete information that led to Dichter and Hanegbi’s warnings. He said, however, the justice system takes these reports of threat seriously.
‘There are two things that, of course, clash,’ Lapid told Army Radio. ‘On one hand, we must relate with utmost gravity to the threats that come from all sides these days … On the other hand, it must not be that under pressure, in a panic, we damage the right of people to express themselves.’
Hanegbi: The Next Political Assassin Is Ready
In an interview with Israeli TV Channel 2, Israeli Public Security Minister Tzachi Hanegbi warned Tuesday that an extreme right wing activist has already decided to commit a political assassination to foil the disengagement plan.
‘I have no doubt that there are people who have already decided that they will ‘save the people of Israel’ and will assassinate a minister, the prime minister, an army officer or a police officer. I have no doubt. This is now with us.’ He said.
Public security ministry source said that Hanegbi’s statement was based on security assessments regarding the behavior of radical rightists.
After the head of Israeli Shin Bet warned that Israeli Prime Minister’s Safety could be endangered due to extreme right wing incitement, a special Knesset session convened Tuesday to discuss the issue.
‘Anyone who tries to kill the prime minister on the basis of din rodef is an incorrigible killer,’ said ultra-Orthodox MK Avraham Ravitz.
Ravitz explained that the din rodef was based on the principle of self defense and that the ‘issue of giving up land is open to debate.’
His remarks apparently came in response to a statement made by the Rabbi of the old city of Jerusalem in which he warned ‘It should be known that anyone who wants to give away Israeli land is subject to a ‘din rodef’ The din rodef is a religious license to kill a fellow Jew.
The assassin of late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin used the Halakha din rodef to justify his act.
Speakers from different factions warned against a possible civil war.
Hadash MK Mohammad Barakeh said that ‘for years Sharon nurtured this snake, and now he has discovered it might strike at him. If fascism raises its head, it’s up to the government to cut off its head.’