Demonstrators burn photo of Aryeh Deri
Demonstrators burn photo of Aryeh DeriOtef Tahana Merkazit

Politicians expressed outrage on Thursday evening after residents of southern Tel Aviv and their supporters who demonstrated against the large number of illegal infiltrators in their neighborhoods were documented burning a picture of Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas).

MK Michael Malkieli (Shas) responded to the incident and said, "Tonight a dangerous red line was crossed that could lead us down a slippery slope. I demand that Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked order an investigation on suspicion of severe incitement against the Interior Minister. At the same time, I am calling on all political parties and activists who are constantly concerned about infiltrators to denounce this.”

MK Yinon Azoulay (Shas) sent a letter to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit and to Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud), demanding that a criminal investigation be opened against the demonstrators.

"Freedom of speech cannot tolerate calls for murder in general and against a government minister in particular, and the severity of the act requires intervention by law enforcement agencies," Azoulay said.

"In view of the threat directed against the Interior Minister, I request that Minister Erdan provide security detail for the Interior Minister until the matter is clarified and the threat to him is removed," he added.

Deputy Finance Minister Yitzhak Cohen (Shas) also demanded an investigation against the demonstrators who burned the picture of Minister Deri.

"Deri led in the government the uncompromising line to return the infiltrators to their countries of origin and has expelled many thousands so far in the legal framework allowed to him, and it is shocking to see how reality and truth are distorted in southern Tel Aviv," Cohen said.

"The same thugs who rejected Prime Minister and Interior Minister Deri's plan to solve the problem of the infiltrators in southern Tel Aviv are now protesting against the Interior Minister and burning his picture," he added. "We must denounce the bullying that does not belong to our country and which is liable to deteriorate into bloodshed. I demand that a criminal investigation be opened over incitement to violence against a senior minister in Israel, and the sooner the better."

Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) said, "I absolutely condemn the burning of pictures of Minister Deri at a demonstration in Tel Aviv. The demand of the residents of southern Tel Aviv that the government solve the infiltrator problem is a just one.”

"Even their anger at the government can be understood because the problem has not yet been resolved, even though the Supreme Court unfortunately tied the hands of the government and the Knesset and pushed the solution away when it twice repealed the Knesset's legislation. But nothing justifies burning pictures of a public figure. A red line was crossed here!” added Elkin.