Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was accused by activists of promoting fake death threats to garner sympathy, i24 News reported.
Netanyahu, who is due to stand trial for corruption in office, tweeted a screenshot of the alleged death threat, which was posted on Facebook by the profile of a woman called 'Dana Ron', where she threatened to "put a bullet in his head".
He tweeted: "Today I shall file a complaint against the threat attached hereby, that calls to murder me by 'a bullet in the head.'" The enclosed Facebook post stated that "Bibi [Netanyahu's nickname] needs to be taken down by force alone… Dictators are moved with a bullet in the head."
However, when independent journalist and social activist Yossi Dorfman investigated the claims, including combing through Ron's Facebook account to find bizarre usage patterns and possible links to the right, coming to the conclusion that the threat was potentially fake.
He tweeted: "Since I do not trust Bibi, I went to check who is this Dana Ron that he said he would file a complaint against for inciting murder."
He continued: Is this a "false flag" exercise in which an activity is disguised to blame another party?
Come with me for a detective thread."
נתניהו התלונן על הסתה, בדיוק באותו הזמן שהכותרות עסקו באלימות מצד תומכיו.
מאחר שאני לא סומך על ביבי, הלכתי לבדוק מי זו אותה Dana Ron שאמר שיגיש נגדה תלונה במשטרה על הסתה לרצח.
האם זהו תרגיל "דגל כוזב" (False Flag) שבו מסווים פעילות כדי להאשים צד אחר?
בואו איתי לשרשור בלשי
— Yossi Dorfman (@Yossi_Dorfman) July 30, 2020
His findings revealed that Ron had updated her bio twice in the space of a minute, and posted anti-Netanyahu posts in quick succession, and there were in fact several accounts under the name 'Dana Ron'.
Dorfman then speculated that the account was fake and being used by Netanyahu's affiliates or Netanyahu himself as a political tool.
These posts coincided with attacks on protesters by far-right Likud activists.
The more sceptical of the prime minister's critics further accused Netanyahu of being behind the post himself, planting a digital 'false flag'.
Facebook's Israeli headquarters confirmed that the profile was in fact not authentic and earmarked for deletion.
This comes as Netanyahu faces unrest and protests from angry Israelis dissatisfied with the government's coronavirus response, and anti-annexation opposition.
In the latest general election, the third in the space of a year, Netanyahu managed to cling to the premiership by the tips of his fingers after making a deal with Kahol Lavan's Benny Gantz, making him Defense Minister and 'alternate Prime Minister'.