JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli police launched an investigation into a well-known haredi Orthodox rabbi’s statement that Finance Minister Yair Lapid could be assassinated in the same way as Yitzhak Rabin.
Rabbi Dov Halbertal made his remarks in an interview this week on Galei Israel Radio.
“I had a guest over on Shabbat, an important scholar, and he told me something astounding that I think had a lot of truth to it,” Halbertal said. “He told me, ‘Listen, there’s going to be a new Rabin assassination; Lapid will be killed by a haredi.’”
Along with questioning Halbertal, police said they are considering tightening security around Lapid, the head of the Yesh Atid party, the Times of Israel reported.
According to Israeli media reports, Halbertal explained that he was repeating someone else’s comment and issuing a warning, not making a threat.
An attorney by profession, Halbertal was known as an associate of the late haredi authority Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv.
Many in the haredi world are upset with Lapid because of his push for a universal draft law that would see most haredi yeshiva students drafted into Israel’s military.
Rabin was assassinated in 1995 by a right-wing extremist opposed to the prime minister’s signing of the 1993 Oslo Accords.