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Israel Arrests Hezbollah Cell Plotting to Kidnap Israelis

Israel Arrests Hezbollah Cell Plotting to Kidnap Israelis

Monday, 21 March, 2022 - 09:30
A Hezbollah flag and a poster depicting Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah are pictured along a street, near Sidon, Lebanon July 7, 2020. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho/File Photo

Four Arab Israelis arrested last month were indicted on Sunday over their ties to Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

Four of them are residents of northern Israel's Galilee, the Shin Bet security service and the police disclosed.

According to the Shin Bet, they were asked to smuggle weapons into Israel and to establish a terror cell to kidnap Israelis, provide information on targets for missile attacks, and locate possible locations for crossing the border from Lebanon into Israeli territory.

Israeli officials have pointed toward a senior Hezbollah official by the name of Hajj Khalil Harb as the one responsible for coordinating weapons smuggling attempts into northern Israel.

Harb is accused of personally directing a Hezbollah operative who met with two of the suspects in Turkey in November.

“This affair illustrates the efforts of Iranian and other terror elements to exploit the Arab and Druze citizens of Israel,” a senior Shin Bet official said. “Citizens who receive inquiries from terror elements are called upon to report this to authorities and to avoid a situation in which they find themselves involved in serious security activities.”

The military said in a separate statement that “Israel’s security forces will continue to operate to maintain security in the region and act against any attempt to violate the sovereignty of the state of Israel."

“During the past year, the Shiite axis led by the Iranian regime and its terrorist proxies across the Middle East has been actively promoting attacks and weapons smuggling into Israel,” it added.

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