Shin Bet security agency operatives and Negev police arrested two brothers from a Bedouin village on suspicion of planning to carry out terror attacks on Israeli cities, the agency reported on Sunday.
Two Jewish Israelis, one of them an IDF soldier, were also arrested on suspicion of providing the brothers with stolen IDF weapons in exchange for drugs.
Mahmoud Abu Qedar, 23, and Sameh Abu Qedar, 20, were arrested in the last month and confessed to contacting terror groups in the Gaza Strip and abroad, acquiring explosive devices, and assembling rockets in order to fire at targets in Israel. They explained that the motive behind the attacks was to prevent the dismantlement of their family’s homes, which were built on disputed land in an unrecognized Bedouin village in the Negev.
The two reportedly tested their explosive devices by setting them off in open spaces. One of the brothers also confessed to buying ammunition from the soldier and said he and his brother intended to steal a gun from the soldier’s army base.
While in custody, the suspects gave a detailed description of their terror plans, which included a suicide bombing in the Beersheba central bus station, an attempt to run over pedestrians and an armed assault on the city’s train station.
The suspects also said they surfed global jihad websites and were influenced by the extreme Islamist ideology preached therein. One of the suspects admitted he had volunteered to carry out attacks on Israeli civilians through the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s website.
An indictment has been filed against the two brothers with the Beersheba District Court.
As of Sunday night, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit had no additional comments regarding the soldier’s identity.