Gaza man indicted for arson attacks in central Israel city of Ramle
Shin Bet says suspect entered Israel to visit his ailing mother in the West Bank but stayed illegally and was recruited by al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades terror group
Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.
Israeli security forces arrested and charged a Palestinian man from the Gaza Strip suspected of committing two arson attacks in the central Israeli city of Ramle in September and October, the Shin Bet security service said Monday.
According to the Shin Bet, the suspect — Suleiman Kassab, 29 — entered Israel with a permit but then remained in the country illegally.
Kassab was charged with carrying out two arson attacks in Ramle, one on September 30 and another on October 4. In the September attack, he is suspected of setting fire to a number of ceremonial booths, or sukkot, that had been set up for the Jewish festival of the same name, and in October, he is believed to have set fire to a bus.
No one was injured in either of the attacks.
According to the Shin Bet, Kassab had been recruited by the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades terror group to conduct “serious attacks in Israel,” such as bombings, kidnappings and shootings. However, he had received neither weaponry nor funding from the group in order to carry them out.
Kassab was arrested on October 12 and was indicted for arson on Monday by the Central District state attorney.
He first entered Israel in January 20 in order to visit his ailing mother, who was receiving medical care in the West Bank.
“This case joins previous arrests of Gaza residents who entered Israel for humanitarian reasons and were recruited to carry out terror attacks in Israel. This stresses the clear potential threat from [Palestinians] illegally living in Israel,” the Shin Bet said.