Israel has started using a pilotless drone to protect Prime Minister Ariel Sharon against possible assassination attempts when he travels, security sources confirmed to the media.
The sources were confirming a report broadcast earlier on Israel’s Channel 2 that Sharon is the first Israeli prime minister to be protected by a drone aircraft. The report said Sharon faces heightened threats by “settler extremists” who oppose his planned withdrawal from Gaza and parts of the West Bank this summer.
Such drones are usually used by Israel to monitor the movements of terrorists in Syria and the Palestinian territories.
In July, Israeli Internal Security Minister Tzahi Hanegbi warned the next assassin of an Israeli prime minister is ready and looking for the opportunity to strike.
“There are people who have already taken the decision that, come the day they are going to ‘save Israel,’ that they are going to kill the prime minister. … I have no doubt that they are out there,” said Hanegbi.
A settler leader who asked that his name be withheld told the Jerusalem Post yesterday anti-withdrawal elements have infiltrated Israel’s military and will provide settlers with advanced intelligence on any plans to vacate settlements.
The leader told the Post: “The army is training and we are also training. We have a big surprise in store for the IDF. We have our people embedded within their ranks, and when it comes down to the [evacuation] operations we know every single detail. … They are not the only ones with intelligence.”
Some settler leaders have accused Sharon of contriving reports of settler violence and extremism and quoting extremist statements to discredit the settlement movement and foment domestic and international opposition to the settlers ahead of the prime minister’s Gaza withdrawal vote.
“We have said continually that any protests we are planning will be entirely peaceful,” Jewish Legion head Mike Guzofsky told WorldNetDaily.
Leaders of the Yesha Council of Jewish Communities in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, the largest settlers group, recently signed a document, the “Covenant of Brothers,” that pledged to avert violence in the face of settler contention over Sharon’s disengagement plan and its implementation.
“It may be that an extremely small sector of settlers are thinking crazy thoughts, but this is not even a tangible minority,” a Yesha leader told WorldNetDaily.