Israel: Netanyahu denies ‘inciting violence’

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The outgoing Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, accused of intimidating supporters of the multi-party coalition seeking power, today denied that he had “instigated violence” amid a tense political climate that has worried even local security services.

Late Saturday night, Nadab Argaman, the head of Sin Beit (Israel’s internal intelligence service), broke his silence, warning that “rhetoric that incites violence, especially on social networking sites,” was growing. He also called on politicians of all parties to “clearly call for an end to these public debates” which “could be interpreted by some individuals or groups as a license to commit acts of violence” that could even lead to “fatal injuries”.

Some local media outlets saw the comment as a warning to Netanyahu. The outgoing prime minister is pressuring lawmakers to persuade them not to back a multi-party government led by his center-right rival, Jair Lapid.

“There is a very fragile line between political criticism and incitement to violence (…) and we cannot say, when criticism comes from the right, that it is incitement to violence and, when it comes from the left, that it is a justified use of freedom of expression “, Netanyahu commented, speaking to Likud party executives today.

“I condemn any incitement to violence,” he added, calling the incitement “illegal.”

Netanyahu said he was the target of a “very serious” campaign against him and described Lapid’s “dangerous left-wing government” as a “diverse coalition” with two parties on the left, two in the center and three on the right (including Yamina). of the radical, nationalist right) and the Arab Raam.

A vote of confidence in this first government without Netanyahu after 12 years could take place on Wednesday or Monday, June 14, according to Israeli media.

In recent days, supporters of the outgoing prime minister have staged rallies outside the homes of several Yamina party members, including Naftali Bennett, who will take over the presidency, based on his agreement with Lapid.

Parliament’s Security Committee has announced that it will meet urgently tomorrow, Monday at 9 am, on the occasion of Sin Bet’s warning, but also in view of the “march of flags” that will take place on Thursday in East Jerusalem, at the urging of its personalities. Israeli far right.

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