Tiberias Mayor Ron Cobi.
(photo credit: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/HM)
The police arrested a 17-year-old on suspicion of threatening to assassinate Tiberias Mayor Ron Cobi on Facebook on Friday. At the end of his interrogation, the boy was released under restrictive conditions.
Since Cobi's decision to operate public transportation in the city on Saturday, threats to the mayor's life have increased.
In posters distributed throughout the city, it was written: "Harming the Shabbat is a betrayal of God, and therefore the punishment of the Torah for that who desecrates the Shabbat is death."
In another poster it was written: "Ron Cobi, a Shabbos goy." (a non-Jew who performs work which Jewish religious law prohibits the Jews from doing on Shabbat)
Cobi complained to the police about the youth's facebook post containing threats against him, and the boy was arrested this morning in Jerusalem.
"It feels as if the incitement against me could lead to an assassination," said the mayor after the boy was arrested. "I feel like people are liable to harm me. When they write 'Death to that who desecrates the Shabbat,' it means just that. I have fallen victim to unprecedented religious incitement."
Cobi revealed that he intends to arm himself with a weapon, "I'm going to get licensed to carry a weapon and arm myself, because they already burned two of my cars and a building...I am being targeted by criminals who try to please rabbis by hurting me."
Cobi was a target for death threats Facebook posts before when a post depicted a front page newspaper from the day after former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated, with Cobi's name instead that of the murdered prime minister. That post however, was actually a hoax
posted on an anti-Haredi Facebook group.
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