Vilnai. 'Decision made by entire cabinet'
Photo: Michael Kramer
Barak's security boosted
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Defense Minister Ehud Barak has come under threat, apparently by extreme rightists, and his deputy, Matan Vilnai, wishes to publicly condemn such behavior.
"I hope the leaders of all ends of the political spectrum express a clear position against criminals who try to harm state representatives," Vilnai said in a press release on Wednesday.
Vilnai added, "We have already experienced periods of threats that have culminated in terrible acts that have hurt the State, its residents, and the unity of the people. I am hopeful that anyone who is displeased with any government decisions operates using only democratic paths."
On Tuesday, settler leaders dismissed reports about a threat against the defense minister, and there were those that claimed they were nothing more than "a spin by Barak."
Security establishment sources recently confirmed that a number of anonymous letters, including some threats, were received.
According to a report on Channel 10, Tuesday's letter included the following text: "Mr. Ehud Barak, if you think of destroying the settlement in Judea and Samaria, you are mistaken. I will murder you beforehand, and if I don't succeed – then after you finish being a minister when you won't have bodyguards."
The threats continued: "Beware. I will hurt you or your children or all which you hold dear."
With regards to such threats, Vilnai said, "We must not stay silent in the face of threats and intimidation attempts by extremists who are trying to hurt the character of the democratic regime and the solidarity in the Israeli society."
Of the settlement construction freeze, Vilnai said, "The citizens must remember that the defense establishment is implementing the cabinet's decision, which was made by all the members of cabinet, and not by one minister or another on their own."
Following the cabinet's decision to freeze construction in settlements and the clashes that ensued, the Shin Bet decided to boost security around the defense minister.
At this point, defense sources say, there is insufficient information to determine whether the threat in question is a serious one or simply another one of the many letters that make their way to Barak's office routinely.
The letter came following a threat recently directed at Police Commissioner Major-General Dudi Cohen.