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Two Bedouin men arrested for alleged ties to Gaza terror group

Shin Bet says Sa’ad Abu Rakaik and Sameh al-Nabari, both in their 20s, were in direct contact with members of an organization based in coastal enclave

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Sa'ad Abu Rakaik (left) and Sameh al-Nabari (right), are pictured in undated photos published by the Shin Bet  on October 16, 2022. The pair are accused of ties to the Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip. (Shin Bet)
Sa'ad Abu Rakaik (left) and Sameh al-Nabari (right), are pictured in undated photos published by the Shin Bet on October 16, 2022. The pair are accused of ties to the Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip. (Shin Bet)

Two Bedouin men from southern Israel were arrested last month for alleged ties to an unnamed terror group in the Gaza Strip, the Shin Bet security agency revealed Sunday.

According to the Shin Bet, Sa’ad Abu Rakaik, 20, from the city of Tel Sheva, and Sameh al-Nabari, 21, from a Negev village near Hura, were in direct contact with members of the group.

The pair were accused of helping funnel funds to Gaza for the group.

The Shin Bet said al-Nabari was also instructed to conduct “additional security tasks” for the group, including attempts to transfer weapons to another operative.

Indictments charging the pair with “serious security offenses” were filed on Sunday, according to the agency.

The service warned that Gaza-based terrorist groups were increasingly trying to carry out attacks in Israel, as well as in the West Bank.

Palestinian members of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas terror group in Gaza City, September 21, 2022. (Attia Muhammed/Flash90)

The Shin Bet said the recent arrests have taught the agency a lot about Gaza-based terror groups’ attempts “that continue at all times, to recruit Israeli citizens for the purpose of carrying out terror activities.”

The Shin Bet said it and the Israel Police “take any involvement or affiliation of Israeli citizens in terrorist activities very seriously, including being in contact with operatives from terrorist organizations, including from the Gaza Strip.”

In July, a Bedouin man was arrested after he was recruited by a small Gaza-based terror group to join the Israeli military and transfer intelligence to it.

September’s arrests came at a time of rising violence in the West Bank.

Israeli forces have ratcheted up arrest raids and other counterterror efforts in the West Bank since a spate of terror attacks against Israelis in the spring killed 19 people.

In recent months, Palestinian gunmen, including some affiliated with the Gaza-ruling Hamas, have repeatedly attacked military posts, troops operating along the West Bank security barrier, Israeli settlements, and civilians on the roads.

Last month, security forces arrested a cell of four Palestinians who allegedly planned to commit shooting attacks in the West Bank under orders of Hamas, and another Hamas cell of seven members who are accused of planning both shootings and bombings.

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