The Shin Bet security service says it uncovered an Iranian-backed terror cell planning an assassination attempt on National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir and former Likud lawmaker Yehudah Glick.
According to the statement, three West Bank Palestinians — Murad Kamamaja, a 47-year-old resident of Kafr Dan; Hassan Mujarima, a 34-year-old resident of Jenin; and Ziad Shanti, a 45-year-old resident of Jenin — were arrested along with two Arab Israelis, Hamad Hammadi, a 23-year-old resident of Nazareth, and Yosef Hamad, an 18-year-old resident of Muqeible.
According to the Shin Bet, Kamamaja and Mujarima were directed by an agent living in Jordan who was working on behalf of Iranian security forces. “The pair were asked to help smuggle weapons into Israel and to collect intelligence on security for senior public figures,” including Ben Gvir and Glick, the latter of whom survived an assassination attempt in 2014.
It says an attempt on Ben Gvir failed to come together thanks to security arrangements around the minister.
It says the three West Bank residents enlisted the two Israelis for a mission to set cars in Haifa on fire and film it as a sort of test to prepare for “much more serious terror.” It claims that Iran is looking to use Israeli criminals to carry out attacks based on forms of criminal activity, without elaborating.
The five are facing serious security charges in court, the Shin Bet says.
Ben Gvir, a far-right firebrand, thanks the Shin Bet and says he won’t be deterred from pushing for harsher conditions for inmates held on terror convictions and for Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount.