(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Israel recently exposed an Arab terrorist cell that was planning to target Israeli soldiers in the southern part of the country, defense officials revealed Tuesday.
The cell’s three members were arrested in a joint police-Shin Bet security agency operation. Three Bedouins were also arrested on suspicion of aiding the cell’s operations.
According to the Shin Bet, terror cell members Mahmed Masri, 37, from Be’er Sheva, and Abdullah Abu Ayyash, 26, from the Bedouin town of Kuseife, allegedly planned to detonate explosives at soldiers’ hitchhiking posts, wait for first responders to arrive and then stage shooting attacks. The third suspect is a resident of Qalansawe, an Arab town in central Israel.
The Shin Bet said Masri’s apparent motive was the government’s outlawing of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel last year. Masri and Ayyash allegedly planned to target major bus stops and hitchhiking spots in the southern town of Dimona and at the Nevatim Airbase. They were planning to flee to Jordan after carrying out the attacks, the Shin Bet said.
Police said Masri and the third member of the cell, whose name was not disclosed, have past convictions for security offenses. Israel’s Southern District Attorney’s Office is scheduled to indict Masri and Ayyash in the coming days.