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Two Israeli Cabinet Ministers Under Tight Security Amid Threats - 2001-11-09


Two Israeli cabinet ministers and their families have left their homes amid fears they could be targets of assassination attempts. The precautionary move follows the October 17 murder of Israel's tourism minister at a Jerusalem hotel by Palestinian militants.

The Shin Bet, Israel's secret police, ordered Minister Without Portfolio Danny Naveh and his family to leave their home.

Mr. Naveh says the move came after the Shin Bet received what it described as "concrete information" on plans to assassinate him. Mr. Naveh is reported to have moved temporarily to an apartment in the center of the country, until he is advised that it is safe to return home.

Israel's health minister, Nissim Dahan, and his family also have been told to stay away from their home.

The precautionary measures follow the murder last month of Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze'evi by members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which said it had carried out an act of revenge for the killing of the group's leader, Abu Ali Mustafa, by Israeli security forces.

Authorities say there have been several warnings of further attacks on prominent Israelis, in particular on individuals living close to the West Bank.

Mr. Naveh and his family were living in their recently completed home in Shoham in central Israel, only three kilometers from the West Bank. Mr. Dahan's home is in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank.

Other prominent figures with homes in the area are former Prime Minister Ehud Barak and the head of Israel's army, General Shaul Mofaz. Israeli security experts say the precautions being taken for public figures are unprecedented.

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