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2 Umm al-Fahm residents indicted for not preventing deadly terror shooting in Hadera

Prosecutors allege Muhammad Gassan Mahajina, Hassan Mahajina knew the IS gunmen who killed 2 border cops last month intended to carry out attack, with latter helping them get ammo

A screen grab from an undated video in which the two terrorists who killed four Israelis in Hadera on March 27, 2022, swear allegiance to the Islamic State terror group (Screen grab)
A screen grab from an undated video in which the two terrorists who killed four Israelis in Hadera on March 27, 2022, swear allegiance to the Islamic State terror group (Screen grab)

Prosecutors on Friday filed charges against a pair of Umm al-Fahm residents for allegedly failing to prevent a deadly terror attack last month in Hadera by Islamic State supporters from the northern Arab Israeli city.

Cousins Ibrahim and Ayman Ighbariah killed two killed Border Police officers in the attack on March 27, before being shot dead by members of an undercover police unit who were eating at a nearby restaurant. The shooting was later claimed by Islamic State.

The shooting came days after another Arab Israeli supporter of the jihadist group killed four Israelis in a combined stabbing and ramming attack in Beersheba, and was followed by deadly terror shootings by Palestinians in Bnei Brak and Tel Aviv that left eight people dead.

According to the indictment filed at the Hadera Magistrate’s Court, Hassan Mahajina, 18, and Muhammad Gassan Mahajina, 26, knew the Islamic State gunmen for years before the attack. It said Ibrahim and Ayman Ighbariah held meetings at the latter’s home that were attended by Muhammad Gassan Mahajina and others, during which the cousins would praise IS and watch videos of its operatives carrying out attacks and killing civilians.

In February, Muhammad Gassan Mahajina and Ayman Ighbariah allegedly reached out to Hassan Mahajina several times about acquiring two boxes of pistol ammunition. The indictment said Mahajina brokered a deal for the bullets and gave them to Ighbariah, whose later request for assistance in obtaining a rifle he refused.

Prosecutors said that as the cousins planned the attack in March, Muhammad Gassan Mahajina approached Hassan Mahajina and asked to speak privately with him. During the conversation, he allegedly told Hassan Mahajina to stay away from Ayman Ighbariah as he was preparing to soon carry out an attack and was only missing a gun, according to the indictment.

Muhammad Gassan Mahajina was charged with not preventing a terror attack. Hassan Mahajina was indicted on the same charge as well as for alleged weapons offenses and attempting to use a weapon for terrorism.

Border Police officers Yezen Falah (R) and Shirel Abukarat, both 19, who were killed in a terrorist attack in the city of Hadera on March 27, 2022 (Police)

Since the Hadera shooting, in which 19-year-old officers Yazan Falah and Shirel Aboukrat were killed, security forces have arrested numerous Arab Israelis with suspected links to Islamic State, which has urged its supporters in Israel to launch further attacks.

Prosecutors on Friday also filed indictments against two brothers from the northern village of Mu’awiya for their alleged IS ties.

The brothers Mutassim Mahmeed, 29, and Jamal Mahmeed, 20, were charged with belonging to a terror group, training for terror purposes, using weapons for terror purposes, and other weapons offensives that the indictment said were committed after they swore allegiance to Islamic State.

The two were also allegedly planning to fight on behalf of IS in an unspecified African country.

The indictment said that over the past two years, the brothers became increasingly drawn to Islamic State and in February bought a pistol, which along with a magazine and ammunition were later seized by police.

Prosecutors requested the suspects remain in custody until legal proceedings end.

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