Police arrest member of Jerusalem terror group
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Police arrest member of Jerusalem terror group

Old City resident indicted for activism in a banned organization, said to have organized riots on the Temple Mount

Israeli border police officers stand guard next to the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City Thursday, July 27, 2017. (AP /Mahmoud Illean)
Israeli border police officers stand guard next to the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City Thursday, July 27, 2017. (AP /Mahmoud Illean)

Police said Thursday that they had arrested an East Jerusalem man suspected of being a senior activist in the outlawed Al-Shabab Al-Aqsa organization.

Rami Fahouri, 26, a resident of the Old City in Jerusalem was questioned on suspicion of being a member of a banned terror organization.

Al-Shabab Al-Aqsa was classified as a terror group in 2011 and is affiliated with the Palestinian terror organization Hamas.

Prosecutors filed an indictment against Fahouri later Thursday and requested he be held until the proceedings against him were concluded.

Fahouri is at the “core of an organization that has been declared a terror group, that identifies with Hamas and whose past activities include violent rioting and terror attacks,” the police statement said.

Although they did not say when Fahouri was detained, police said an undercover operation was launched weeks ago based on information received from the Shin Bet domestic security agency. According to the information, Hamas operatives were trying to transfer money for terror activities in Israel via an Old City resident who was known to be active in Al-Shabab Al-Aqsa.

“The police investigation that began based on the information from the Shin Bet prevented an attempt by activists in a terror group from gaining a foothold in Israeli territory,” police said.

During the investigation, police said, they found that the suspect had organized riots on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem a year ago, and published comments on social media identifying with and praising Al-Shabab Al-Aqsa.

A female resident of the Old City, known as a central activist in the outlawed Murabitun group, was also arrested, police said. The Murabitun, before they were outlawed in September 2015, were known for harassing Jewish visitors on the Temple Mount, at times resorting to physical assault.

Jerusalem prosecutors said Thursday in a statement that they have recently filed indictments against 13 suspected members of Al-Shabab Al-Aqsa.

In June, security forces arrested five Al-Shabab Al-Aqsa members suspected of planning to attack security forces and visitors to the Temple Mount.

The Shin Bet said at the time that in addition to stoking violence on the Temple Mount to deter non-Muslim visitors, members of the group have carried out a number of deadly terror attacks, including an October 2016 shooting in which two Israelis were killed at a Jerusalem light rail stop and during a subsequent shootout with police.

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