Iran tried to kill Israelis in Cyprus, Naftali Bennett says

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Iran tried to kill Israelis in Cyprus, Naftali Bennett says

Israeli prime minister calls the incident an ‘attempted Iranian terror attack’ but Teddy Sagi was not the target

Michael Daventry is foreign editor of Jewish News

Israeli businessman Teddy Sagi at the conference
Israeli businessman Teddy Sagi at the conference

An alleged plot to assassinate a group of Israeli businessmen reported by Cypriot media is in fact an Iranian “act of terror”, Naftali Bennett has said.

The Israeli prime minister declared the incident was a mission authorised by Iran to kill business leaders.

But he said Teddy Sagi, an Israeli-Cypriot billionaire, was not a target of the plans that police said were uncovered before they could be executed.

Sagi later fled Cyprus saying his personal security was under threat.

Cypriot media said an alleged hitman was now in custody, but Bennett said the incident was not criminal but terror-related.

A statement from the Israeli prime minister’s office said: “As opposed to some of the reports yesterday regarding an incident in Cyprus, I can clarify on behalf of the security establishment that this was an act of terror that was orchestrated by Iran against Israeli businesspeople living in Cyprus.

“This is not a criminal act and the Israeli businessman Teddy Sagi was not the target of the attack.“

The suspect is an 38-year-old Russian citizen of Azerbaijani origin.

No other businesspeople linked to the alleged plot have been named.

Sagi is a prominent investor in online gambling and real estate.

He was also the sponsor of Jewish News’s Night of Heroes in 2018.

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