Ilana Sporta Hania identified as suspect who sent PM Bennet threats

Hania frequently attacked Bennett on social media, calling him a "killer" and a "traitor."

 Ilania Sporta Hania, the 65-year-old woman suspected of sending death threats to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)
Ilania Sporta Hania, the 65-year-old woman suspected of sending death threats to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

The person suspected of sending threatening letters to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and his family was confirmed to be Ilana Sporta Hania, a 65-year-old resident of Ashkelon, the Central District Court in Lod said on Thursday.

The offenses attributed to Ilana Sporta Hania are threatening to commit an act of terrorism, extortion by threats, carrying weapons and conspiracy to commit a crime. She denies the charges.

Hania was arrested amid an ongoing investigation by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and the police’s Lahav 433 national crime unit, which attributed the threats to “political motives.”

Hania, who retired from being a nurse five years ago, is known as an activist for opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu. She frequently spoke on social media against Bennett, calling him a “killer,” “traitor” and “swindler.” One of her posts had been investigated in the past.

She has posted pictures of herself with several right-wing MKs, including renegade Yamina MK Amichai Chikli and Likud MK Amir Ohana, a former public security minister.

 Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in the opening of the Knesset summer session at the assembly hall of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem on May 9, 2022.  (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90) Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in the opening of the Knesset summer session at the assembly hall of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem on May 9, 2022. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

In a protest held outside a New Hope convention in Ashkelon in September, the woman was filmed calling for New Hope MK Bennie Begin, son of former Likud leader and prime minister Menachem Begin, to “jump into the sea and find your death there.”

Last month, the woman said on Twitter she “hopes the Shin Bet will stop Bennett as it stopped [former prime minister Yitzhak] Rabin,” implying he was assassinated by the security agency. She has said on social media, “Only Bennett’s death will save Israel.”

Two threatening letters in envelopes containing bullets were sent to the Bennett family home in Ra’anana over the past month. After the first letter was sent in late April, the Shin Bet decided to boost security for the prime minister’s family.

Days later, a second letter was sent, targeting Bennett’s eldest son, Yoni. The working assumption of the investigation was that the same party was behind the two letters.