Israeli police prepare for parliament incursions by Netanyahu supporters

Israeli police train for far-right Capitol Riot-style riots if Netanyahu loses election
2 min read
23 March, 2021
Israeli police have trained in anticipation of a Capitol riot-like storming of the Knesset by far-right activists in the event of a Netanyahu loss.
Israeli police are worried about the reaction of Benjamin Netanyahu's supporters if he loses [Getty]
Israeli police have conducted security exercises in anticipation of a Capitol riot-like storming of the Knesset by ruling Likud Party activists, according to local media. 

Israel's Channel 13 revealed that police are preparing for a possible assault on the Israeli parliament by right-wing supporters of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, if he loses Tuesday's election.

It follows concerns by the Supreme Court of potential violence during and after the fourth general election in Israel in under two years.

The exercises "are partly due to what happened in the United States shortly before the inauguration of US President Joe Biden when supporters of former Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building in protest against the election results" on 6 January, Channel 13 reported. 

It also confirmed that "the Knesset is working to secure its building continuously, through its own guard" noting that "the sites of violent incidents and unusual abuses will be determined during election day, and then dealt with".

Israelis began voting on Tuesday with no guarantee that the poll will bring about a more conclusive result than the previous three elections.

Netanyahu is Israel's longest-serving premier, but his inability in recent years to unite a stable governing majority behind him has mired the country in unprecedented political gridlock.

He is facing an electorate of some 6.5 million registered voters, after leading a successful coronavirus vaccination effort that has fully inoculated more than half of Israel's roughly nine million population.

But while his right-wing Likud Party will likely win more seats than any other party, 71-year-old Netanyahu will need coalition partners to secure a majority in the 120-seat Knesset.

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