3 Arab Israelis suspected of planning Islamic State ‘terror activity’

Men, who have been arrested and remanded until Sunday, are residents of Sakhnin and Arraba in the north

A fighter from the Christian Syriac militia that battles the Islamic State group under the banner of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, burns an IS flag on the front line on the western side of Raqqa, northeast Syria, July 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File)
A fighter from the Christian Syriac militia that battles the Islamic State group under the banner of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, burns an IS flag on the front line on the western side of Raqqa, northeast Syria, July 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File)

Three men allegedly affiliated with Islamic State were arrested on suspicion of planning to carry out “terror activities,” police and the Shin Bet said Tuesday.

The Arab Israelis were residents of Sakhnin and Arraba in the north of the country.

The three were arrested Sunday in a joint operation by police and the Shin Bet that included undercover officers.

The detention of the three was extended until Sunday.

Last year, ISIS called for Arabs in Israel to carry out attacks throughout the country.

In August, a 19-year-old Arab Israeli was indicted for joining ISIS.

Last December, a terrorist responsible for a bombing in Jerusalem was found to be connected to ISIS; in November, an Arab Israeli teenager was indicted for joining ISIS and attempting to make a bomb on the organization’s behalf; in October, six men were arrested for alleged ISIS ties and for planning to attack a Muslim school in Nazareth.

Last August, three Arab Israelis were arrested for attempting to join the group in Nigeria.

Following a series of terrorist attacks in the beginning of 2022, 43 people in northern Israel were arrested on suspicion of being connected to ISIS.

Israeli officials have repeatedly linked Hamas to ISIS in the aftermath of the devastating October 7 attack, in which Gaza terrorists massacred some 1,400 people in southwestern Israel, though the comparison is mainly seen as an attempt to explain the enormity of the atrocities and level of depravity as Israel rallies support for its counterattack on the Gaza-based terror group.

Actual links between Hamas and ISIS — which has been largely decimated and rendered irrelevant in the last several years — are harder to find. An ISIS affiliate in the Sinai, Ansar al-Bayt al-Maqdis, is also thought to have few connections with Hamas.

Last week, Israel Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai praised the Arab Israeli community for refraining from “incidents” since the start of the war with Hamas amid fearmongering by far-right politicians of Jewish-Arab violence in Israel’s mixed cities of the kind that took place two years ago.

Since the October 7 onslaught, the State Attorney’s Office has indicted 34 Israeli citizens and residents of East Jerusalem for incitement to terrorism and identification with terror organizations, mostly for social media posts in which they praised or supported the unprecedented terror attack against Israel.

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