The Israel Police have arrested a man from eastern Jerusalem who confessed to plotting to assassinate Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, according to Israeli media reports.
The suspect planned to steal police license plates and affix them to a vehicle to get close to Ben-Gvir, according to Channel 13. The suspect allegedly received money from terrorist groups to carry out the killing, which was to have taken place during a visit by the minister to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City during the upcoming Muslim holiday of Ramadan.
Ben-Gvir expressed his gratitude to the security forces for thwarting the plot, adding, “I will not be scared away by attempts to harm me, and I will continue to work to ensure a strong right-wing policy, defeat terrorism and return security to the streets.”
According to Ben-Gvir, the suspect had also planned a kidnapping with a view to securing the release of Palestinian terrorists jailed in Israel.
Police have placed a gag order on the case, preventing the release of additional details.
In January, Ben-Gvir caused an international firestorm by visiting the Temple Mount, his first visit to Judaism’s holiest site after he assumed his post.
“Our government will not surrender to threats from Hamas,” said Ben-Gvir at the time, as the Palestinian terrorist group had vowed to “not stand idly by” and instead “ignite the region” if the minister visited the site.
“The Temple Mount is the most important place for the people of Israel,” Ben-Gvir noted during his visit, adding: “We maintain the freedom of movement for Muslims and Christians, but Jews also go up to the site, and those who make threats must be dealt with with an iron fist.”