Far-right Israeli Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir has announced the arrest of a Palestinian suspected of plotting an assassination attempt against him. The "Arab suspect," a Jerusalem resident who plotted the assassination of Ben Gvir, was arrested by police "a few weeks ago," the minister's office said on Tuesday, according to AFP news agency.
According to the report, the suspect collected information about the minister's trips and received "money from terrorist elements in a neighboring country" for carrying out the murder.
46-year-old Ben Gvir is one of the most radical and controversial members of the new, right-wing Israeli government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which was sworn in at the end of December. Ben Gvir has repeatedly been accused of intentionally fueling tensions with the Palestinians.
The lawyer and father of six lives in a settlement in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. There had recently been serious riots by Israeli settlers in the West Bank after two young Israelis were fatally injured by gunfire in the Palestinian town of Huwara on Sunday.
Ben Gvir had also campaigned for a bill that would allow courts to "impose the death penalty on terrorists." The Israeli government launched the bill on Sunday. Germany's Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) expressed concern about the planned changes to the judicial system at a meeting with her Israeli colleague Eli Cohen in Berlin on Tuesday.
“One of the values that unites us is the protection of rule of law principles such as the independence of the judiciary. That was always a hallmark of Israel,” said Baerbock. "I don't want to hide the fact that we are worried abroad."