A statue depicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sitting in the spirit of 'The Last Supper' is displayed as a protest performance by Israeli artist Itai Zalait, in Rabin Square, Tel Aviv, July 29, 2020
A statue depicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sitting in the spirit of 'The Last Supper' in Tel Aviv
Photo: EPA
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

PM: Police will find protest attackers, Tel Aviv statue incitement to murder

Netanyahu calls installation depicting him at feast resembling 'Last Supper' painting 'shameful threat of crucifixion,' while Gantz slams violence against anti-Netanyahu protesters, calls on all members of government to condemn it

Moran Azulay, Itay Blumenthal |
Updated: 07.29.20 , 15:35
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that the police were investigating the violence directed at anti-government protesters in Tel Aviv on Tuesday night.
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  • "The investigation is ongoing," he said. "I expect the police will get to the truth and prosecute all those responsible."
    בנימין נתניהו מפגין הותקף הפגנה מחאה מפגינים נגד בנימין נתניהו רחובות תל אביב מכות אלימותבנימין נתניהו מפגין הותקף הפגנה מחאה מפגינים נגד בנימין נתניהו רחובות תל אביב מכות אלימות
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
    (Photo: GPO)
    Protesters at a march calling for Netanyahu's removal from office came under violent attack in Tel Aviv on Tuesday night.
    At least five of the protesters were wounded and required hospitalization in attacks attributed to pro-Netanyahu activists.
    Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Wednesday demanded the arrest of perpetrators of the attacks and vowed to safeguard the right to protest.
    "Citizens exercising their right to protest were attacked by an organized group of criminals," Gantz said. "We must not let such go unpunished."
    תומכי נתניהו היכו מפגינים של הדגלים השחוריםתומכי נתניהו היכו מפגינים של הדגלים השחורים
    A protester sits on the ground after she was apparently pepper-sprayed by Netanyahu supporters in Tel Aviv on Tuesday night
    The defense minister called for Netanyahu and the entire government to condemn the attacks and said he would convene a cabinet meeting to discuss the events and ensure the police took decisive action.
    Three people have been arrested over the attacks on protesters and were being questioned, police said Wednesday.
    Meanwhile, Netanyahu also complained Wednesday that a protest installation depicting him at a feast based on "The Last Supper" was a death threat against him.
    The installation was placed by Israeli artist Itai Zalait in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv on Wednesday morning.
    A statue depicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sitting in the spirit of 'The Last Supper' is displayed as a protest performance by Israeli artist Itai Zalait, in Rabin Square, Tel Aviv, July 29, 2020 A statue depicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sitting in the spirit of 'The Last Supper' is displayed as a protest performance by Israeli artist Itai Zalait, in Rabin Square, Tel Aviv, July 29, 2020
    A statue depicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sitting in the spirit of 'The Last Supper' in Tel Aviv
    (Photo: EPA)
    "In the same way, there is no room for incitement and threats of murder - explicit and implicit - against me and my family, including the shameful threat of crucifixion today in Tel Aviv," Netanyahu said in reference to the installation.
    He claimed that many incidents that threaten his life and the lives of his family are ignored by the media.
    "Unfortunately, when a policeman is severely beaten by protesters in front of the prime minister's residence and needs surgery, or when death threats are made against me and my family every day - including yesterday when a man was arrested near the prime minister's offices who threatened to kill me and was carrying blades - the media and many public figures choose to ignore it," he said.
    משרד ראש הממשלה משרד ראש הממשלה
    The Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem
    (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
    Netanyahu was apparently referring to the arrest on Tuesday night of a homeless man who was found with two razor blades and a plastic gun.
    The 31-year-old man was actually detained following a report from the protesters outside the prime minister's office, and a police investigation revealed that he was apparently mentally ill.

    First published: 14:52 , 07.29.20
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