Netanyahu ‘would have me killed if he could,’ Gantz alleges

Gantz suggests that the prime minister conspired with Russia regarding the hacking of the Blue and White party leader’s cell phone, claiming he now fears for his life.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

A secretly made recording of Benny Gantz, head of the Blue and White party, saying that the prime minister would have him assassinated if he could, was aired on Channel 13 on Sunday evening.

He first differentiated between how Israel’s leader supposedly acts in non-election and election seasons.

“If the fundamental Benjamin Netanyahu, whom I know, would want me to be hurt, the answer is ‘no,’ he said. “If Benjamin Netanyahu of this election eve is prepared for me to be hurt? Yes, I say unfortunately.”

Then he went even further. “If he had a way to have me hurt, to have me killed, he would do it.” Gantz is quoted as saying.

The report said that the former chief-of-staff then aired a conspiracy theory regarding the prime minister’s connection to Iranian intelligence having hacked into his cell phone, although he first admitted that Israel’s enemies could have done so.

“[If] it’s not the enemy – then who does it? The opponents,” he surmises, and gives two ways the illegal action could have been done.

“One possibility is that they take private individuals who do this kind of cyber-activity. The second option, that fits Bibi, though I don’t think there’s a high chance of it, is that he is activating the Russians in order to interfere with the elections.”

Gantz also told his friends that the prime minister knows that he will end up in prison, adding a jibe about Netanyahu’s relationship with his wife for good measure.

“This man knows that he is going to jail…. If he ends his tenure as prime minister, he goes to jail. If he doesn’t go to court, he doesn’t go to jail and he’s with Sarah – he’s still in jail. The only place where he is a free man is in the office,” he concluded.

The Likud swiftly reacted to the leaked conversation.

“Benny Gantz has lost it. After accusing the prime minister of treason against the state, he accuses the prime minister of planning to send people to kill him. If Benny Gantz is showing advanced signs of paranoia after two weeks of pressure during an election campaign and the Iranians hacking his phone, how can he run a country?” the party asked rhetorically.