The husband of a senior government health official said Thursday that there are credible and violent threats against his wife that must be addressed immediately.
Meir Preis, husband of the head of public health services at the Ministry of Health, Sharon Alroy-Preis, posted a tweet on Thursday morning addressed to the accounts of the police and the minister of public security.
“I am writing directly to you,” he wrote. “There are concrete threats against the life of my wife (Sharon Alroy-Preis). You know this, there are messages on social media, there are phone numbers, there are clearly threatening phone calls. You have the materials. This is the time to act, now, before it’s too late! “
In response, Public Security Minister Omer Barlev condemned the threats and said he had faith in the police to find those responsible.
“I fully and fully condemn the threats against Dr. Alroy-Preis,” Barlev said. “There is no place for this type of speech against anyone, and certainly not against public servants and experts in his field like Dr. Alroy-Preis.”
Barlev, whose ministry oversees the police, said three complaints have so far been filed in relation to such threats “and they are currently under investigation. I am confident that the Israel Police will complete the investigation seriously and get to the root of the problem. “
Salman Zarka, the government’s coronavirus czar, called on police to take the threats seriously and protect Alroy-Preis.
“I call on the authorities to do everything necessary to counter the threats against him,” Zarka told public broadcaster Kan on Thursday. “I support the words of Sharon’s husband. What is needed here is real care, so that she and others in the health care system can operate professionally. “
Alroy-Preis, one of the government’s top COVID advisers, has faced threats and attacks for many months. It has been a particular target of anti-vaccine activists and those who rage against the government’s pandemic restrictions.
In August, Alroy-Preis revealed that authorities had given him a panic button to alert police to any potential danger, following continued harassment and threats from antivaxxers.
“These are not easy days, we must remember that in addition to being a public worker, I am also a human being, with a family,” she said at the time on channel 12 news. “When my 7-year-old son asks me why people would stand by the house and call me ‘child killer’, it is very difficult.”
“The speech has descended into an abusive, violent, superficial and degrading form and something needs to be done about it,” he said.
Protests that took place outside his home earlier this year included chants of “Nazi assassin” and “daughter of the devil,” while some in attendance sported yellow stars comparing COVID restrictions to the Holocaust.
In late August, an anti-vaccine activist was charged with threatening the death of Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton and her family.