Plastic air gun bullets injure two people at Blue and White rally

Blue and White leader MK Benny Gantz said that the incident was part of a “trend” that “cannot be ignored.”

By World Israel News Staff 

Plastic bullets from an air weapon were fired toward Blue and White supporters attending an election rally in the city of Rehovot on Thursday night. Two people were reported to have sustained superficial injuries. Police said that they took in two suspects for questioning.

Police described the weapon that was used as a replica gun used in airsoft, a sport in which participants shoot their opponents with spherical plastic projectiles.

Police identified the two suspects as aged 16 and 26.

Blue and White leader MK Benny Gantz said that the incident was part of a “trend” that “cannot be ignored.”

Writing on Facebook, Gantz said that activists “are being cursed” and that a relative of his working in the campaign effort “was beaten.”

The Blue and White leader charged that it was a “result of incitement” and called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to issue an immediate call “in his own voice” to refrain from violence.

Blue and White would edge out Netanyahu’s Likud party in the upcoming election, according to an Israel Hayom-i24NEWS opinion poll, conducted by the Magar Mochot research institute and published Friday.

According to the survey, Blue and White would win 32 seats compared to the Likud’s 30 in the 120-member Knesset.

However, 40 percent of those asked said that that they preferred Netanyahu as prime minister. Only 24 percent replied that they viewed Gantz as more suitable for the top position. In the past, Israel briefly had a two-ballot system in which a prime minister was elected directly. Currently, Israelis vote only for a party.

The Yisrael Beytenu party, headed by former defense minister Avigdor Liberman, who refused to join a Netanyahu government after the April 9 election, continues to wield the balance of power, based on opinion polls, winning 11 seats, according to the survey published on Friday.

Liberman has called for the formation of a unity government comprised of both the Likud and Blue and White.

In a tactical move, Liberman has stated his preference for Gantz and signed a “leftover vote” agreement with Blue and White to ensure that votes are not wasted and that all ballots for Yisrael Beytenu and Blue and White go to one of the two lists in the case of “partial” seats.

Liberman’s tactic is aimed at preventing Netanyahu from forming a narrower government that would rely on the support of religious parties.