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Police detain man for attempt to blackmail prime minister’s wife

JERUSALEM, Sept. 7 (JTA) – An Israeli man faces charges of attempting to blackmail the wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Shmuel Elimelech, 37, was detained last week after having telephoned the premier’s office and demanding payment to prevent the publication of “embarrassing information” about Sara Netanyahu. Only after he was arrested did police discover that what Elimelech possessed was a collection of Sara Netanyahu’s third-grade notebooks. The books were found among articles that had been left in her old house in the town of Tivon and discarded by the new owners. Elimelech, who lives in Tivon, originally demanded about $3,000, but then settled for less than $1,000. An officer met with him, handed him the money – and then arrested him. Elimelech, who was released on bail, told reporters that during the negotiations he had even invited the Netanyahus for a Moroccan dinner at his home.