Tel Aviv – Shin Bet (Israeli Security Agency) has arrested Arab-Israeli citizens from Beersheba and Kseifa in the south and central Kalansua for plotting attacks against Israeli security officers.
The cell’s members were planning the attack in November 2015 in response to Israel’s decision to outlaw the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement and the arrest of its head Raed Salah, and other commanders, the Shin Bet said Wednesday.
In November 2015, Israel declared the Northern Branch illegal, charging it with links to terrorist groups and inciting the wave of violence that began the month before.
According to the indictment, the suspects planned to attack soldiers at a bus stop or near an army base using a gun, a car or a knife. To this end, one of the suspects was tasked with finding a vehicle to use in the attack.
Two of them were arrested in late 2016 and one was arrested at the end of March when he returned to Israel from Turkey.
One of the suspects is Faras al-Omari from Qandala who is a top official in the northern branch and is said to be the person the cell members turned to in order to receive approval for carrying out the attack.
The statement added that the investigation “exposed the part played by ex-prisoners in the service of the Islamic Movement, who conspired, when called upon, to carry out a serious terror operation in identification with the movement.”
Last week, 20 suspected senior members of the Northern Branch were charged with offenses against state security for raising money overseas for their group.
Raed Salah denied the allegations saying the Shin Bet and the Israeli government has set a goal of targeting the Islamic movement and everything they announce aims at destroying its reputation.