Israeli officials said on Thursday that reports of a foiled attempt to assassinate Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s life while the leader was on a diplomatic visit to Africa were untrue.
Kuwaiti daily newspaper al-Jarida reported on Thursday that Kenya’s security forces had stopped an attempt on Netanyahu’s life earlier in the week. According to the paper, which cited an anonymous source, the threat appeared on Tuesday as Netanyahu left the Nairobi airport in Kenya to travel to his hotel.
The source said that Kenyan security authorities had abruptly instructed Netanyahu’s security guards to change the route of the convoy carrying the prime minister, leading to arguments between the Kenyan and Israeli forces. According to the source, Netanyahu’s convoy did change its course and arrived at a safe hotel, at which point it was revealed that Kenyan intelligence had uncovered a plot to attack vehicles in the convoy along its original route.
The paper also reported that Kenyan authorities had arrested two people in relation to the assassination attempt.
However, a Netanyahu aide told Army Radio that there had been no change of route, and the Israeli leader himself said that he knew nothing about the report.
Netanyahu’s spokesman Boaz Stempler said that it was “utter nonsense.”
The prime minister has been the target of several real assassination attempts in the past. Most recently, in February, the Israeli police revealed that a Hamas terror cell had been planning to detonate a bomb at Jerusalem’s Great Synagogue while Netanyahu gave a speech at the location.