Terror attack thwarted in tourist hotspot Eilat

Jerusalem residents Khalil Nimri and Ashraf Slaimeh allegedly planned to bomb a hotel in the resort town

Adiv Sterman is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

View of the hotels in the southern Israeli city of Eilat. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
View of the hotels in the southern Israeli city of Eilat. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Two Arab Israeli citizens from Jerusalem planned to plant explosives at the Rio Hotel in Eilat several weeks ago, it was cleared for publication Thursday.

The Southern District Prosecution filed indictments with the court against Khalil Nimri and Ashraf Slaimeh over charges of forming a conspiracy and aiding an enemy in wartime, according to a statement from the Beersheva District Court.

According to the indictment, the two met while working together in a different Eilat hotel.

Nimri, according to the indictment, said he “wanted to avenge the death of his childhood friend killed in October [while carrying out a] stabbing attack in Jerusalem.”

The indictment also indicated that Nimri first offered to carry out a stabbing attack and murder a religious Jew, but Slaimeh convinced him that they would likely get caught. Slaimeh suggested instead that the two plant a bomb in a hotel in Eilat.

On November 30, Slaimeh came to the hotel to collect information. He introduced himself as a customer wishing to rent a hotel room for an extended period of time and asked to see different rooms at the hotel.

The hotel staff noticed the two acting suspiciously and reported them to management and security personnel, who arrested the would-be attackers. The pair later confessed the plot to police.

Raoul Wootliff contributed to this report.

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