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Israel Denies Netanyahu Assassination Attempt in Kenya | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at his Jerusalem office on March 13, 2016. / AFP / GALI TIBBON

Tel Aviv-Although Israel has officially denied that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had escaped an assassination attempt during his visit to Kenya this week, security sources in Tel Aviv and Nairobi have insisted that an operation to kill the PM had been thwarted.

News about the assassination attempt was first published in Israel. But Netanyahu’s spokesman and the spokesperson of the foreign ministry issued separate statements, absolutely denying and dismissing the reports as “untrue.”

But Israeli media said on Friday that Kenyan authorities asked Netanyahu’s security team to change the course of his convoy before heading from the airport to his hotel.

The surprising alert, according to the reports, led to arguments between Netanyahu’s guards and Kenyan security personnel.

At the beginning, the Israelis criticized the security arrangements. However, after the convoy changed its course and arrived safely at the hotel, it was discovered that Kenyan intelligence revealed there was a plot to kill Netanyahu in car and roadside bombings.

Following the alleged incident, Kenya’s security forces arrested two people suspected of planning an attack against Netanyahu’s convoy, Israeli sources said.

Yet details on who stands behind the plot remain vague.

According to the sources, due to the warning, additional changes were made to the prime minister’s schedule in Kenya.