Vandalism, hacking attempts ahead of elections

Vandals target Shas, Tzipi Livni Party HQs, poster of Bayit Yehudi leader in Tel Aviv; hackers attack Yesh Atid's website.

January 20, 2013 18:48
1 minute read.
Vandalized Bayit Yehudi ad in Tel Aviv, January 20, 2013.

Vandalized Bennett ad in TA 370. (photo credit: Gabriella Tzvia Weiniger)


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Tensions have flared and smear campaigns have taken hold in Israel ahead of the opening of polls in the Israeli national elections, with two reported incidents of vandalism at both Tzipi Livni's party and Shas headquarters.

In the first incident, unidentified vandals set fire to several Torah books at the Shas party headquarters in Or Yehuda on Saturday night, Israel Radio reported.

Shas MK Ariel Atias said the incident was a result of months of incitement against spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and the Shas movement.

"We have seen in the past that words can become actions, and now we see that again," Israel Radio quoted Attias as saying. He added that "the scenes of vandalism are reminiscent of scenes the Jewish people would prefer to forget."

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A poster featuring Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett close to a central Tel Aviv shopping mall had been defaced too.

On Sunday morning, vandals sprayed graffiti on the walls of the Tzipi Livni Party headquarters in Tel Aviv, according to a party statement.

The graffiti in Tel Aviv reads: "Yigal Amir was right," in a reference to former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin's murderer. MK Yoel Hasson filed a complaint with the police.

Tzipi Livni on Sunday responded to the graffiti, saying that the words "illustrate our understanding of the struggle we face."

"I didn't vote for Rabin but he was still my prime minister – and no one will assassinate our democracy and our Zionist dream."

Livni was also target by anonymous hacktivists who sent out text messages with her personal cellphone number, and calling on message-recipients to harass the Tzipi Livni Party chairwoman. The party filed a complaint with the police.

Hackers also targeted Yesh Atid's website with a DoS (denial-of-service) attack meant to crash the site by overwhelming the site's network with computer traffic. The party found the attacks originated from IP addresses in Israel and abroad and worked to stop them.

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