Israeli arrested in Malaysia for attempts to assassinate another Israeli – The Jerusalem Post

Posted By on March 30, 2024

An Israeli citizen was arrested on Wednesday in Malaysia on the grounds that he entered the country to carry out an assassination, with a police report saying that the man admitted that his goal was to assassinate another Israeli, Walla reported on Thursday, citing Malaysian media reports.

According to reports in Malaysia, the detainee's identity is Shalom Avitan, at least 36 years old, from Bnei Brak.

The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem has been notified about the arrest, but no further details were provided.

Israelis are prohibited from entering Malaysia, and the investigation revealed that he entered the country using a French passport and only presented his Israeli passport during his questioning. Avitan entered the country two weeks prior, on March 12, through the capital's Kuala Lumpur International Airport on a flight via the United Arab Emirates.

The man was also caught in possession of six guns and 200 bullets, and the background of the attempted assassination is reportedly a family dispute. Three of the guns were loaded.

Malaysian authorities insist that this is not purely a criminal incident and that the circumstances differ.

"We don't buy his story," a Malaysian police commissioner said at a press conference, emphasizing that the security of key figures in Malaysia, such as the prime minister and king, had increased. "What's worse here is that the arrest took place during the ongoing conflict between Palestine and Israel, and we are vigilant about the security of the government, the king, and other non-governmental organizations, whose security we have to take into account." He said that the weapons and ammunition were purchased by the Israelis using cryptocurrency and that investigations are ongoing to locate the recipient of the payment.

The Federal Police in Malaysia reported that they made the arrest at a hotel in the prestigious Jalan Ampang district in the country's capital, Kuala Lumpur and that they seized the weapons intended for the assassination. The police also added that in the days leading up to the arrest, Avitan changed hotels three times, and this was already the fourth hotel he stayed at, according to the Walla report.

"We believe that the suspect did not act alone and has a local connection here whose identity we have not yet ascertained," the Malaysian police commissioner also said, adding that the police are assisting at the French embassy.

When local media asked if the police do not rule out the possibility of the suspect belonging to Israeli intelligence, the commissioner said that "the ongoing investigations are also leading in this direction."

Malaysian media also reported that the Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, condemned the "atrocities of Israel towards Palestine."

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Israeli arrested in Malaysia for attempts to assassinate another Israeli - The Jerusalem Post

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