Top health official given security detail after death threats – The Times of Israel

Police have ordered a full-time security detail to a senior health official after death threats were made against her.

A joint statement Saturday from the Israel Police and Health Ministry said Dr. Sharon Alroy Preis, head of public health services at the ministry, was already being accompanied by security guards.

The statement also said the Health Ministry recently set up a special hotline for employees to report “slander and threats” against them.

“The Health Ministry is working in close cooperation with police and all reports of threats against any ministry employee are examined and dealt with in accordance with the information and security assessments,” the statement said.

Public Security Minister Barlev, whose ministry oversees the police, told Kan news that Alroy-Preis was currently classified as “highly threatened.” He said the ministry would consider providing security for other senior health officials if necessary.

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Police are working to track down those behind the threats and have received two complaints, Barlev added.

Public Security Minister Omer Barlev attends a ceremony at the National Headquarters of the Israel Police in Jerusalem, on September 5, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

The move came after Alroy-Preis’s husband posted a tweet Thursday directed at the accounts of the police and Barlev, asserting that there were credible, violent threats against his wife that must be immediately addressed.

In response, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett issued a statement condemning the threats and the anti-vaxxers he said were behind them.

Hours after Meir Preis’s tweet, police confirmed they had opened an investigation into the threats.

“We take a severe view of any publication directed against public servants,” police said. “We will act with all means available to bring the suspects to justice.”

Alroy-Preis, one of the government’s top COVID-19 advisers, has faced threats and attacks for many months. She has been a particular target of anti-vaccine activists and those who chafe against the government’s pandemic restrictions.

In August, Alroy-Preis revealed that she had been given a panic button by authorities to alert police of any potential danger, following continued harassment and threats by anti-vaxxers.

Protests held outside her home earlier this year included chants of “Nazi murderer” and “daughter of the devil,” while some in attendance wore yellow stars comparing COVID restrictions to the Holocaust.

In late August, an anti-vaccine activist was indicted for issuing death threats against Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton and her family.

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