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Israel says foiled plot to kill far-right minister Ben Gvir

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JERUSALEM: Israeli security services said on Thursday (Apr 4) they had foiled a plot to kill the country’s far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir.

Eleven people including seven Palestinian Israeli citizens were arrested in the joint operation with the police and the army, the internal security service Shin Bet said.

“Shin Bet dismantled a terrorist cell that was preparing attacks in Israel, notably against the Minister Itamar Ben Gvir,” the agency said in a statement, nearly six months into Israel’s war against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.

They said the suspects had planned to kill Ben Gvir with a rocket launcher.

“The cell had (also) planned attacks against military bases, Ben Gurion Airport and government offices in Jerusalem,” it added.

Ten of the suspects were charged at a court in Beersheva in the south of the country on Thursday, the security service said.

Ben Gvir, who heads the Jewish Power party, is known for his inflammatory rhetoric against Palestinians.

In February he called for stricter controls on Palestinians in the West Bank – where he is a settler – saying they “should not be allowed” into Jerusalem to pray during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Police and Shin Bet also said they had averted two planned attacks in annexed east Jerusalem by “supporters of Islamic State”.

Attacks linked to the Islamic State group of militants would be a rarity in the country.

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