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200 Israeli Arabs Suspected of Identifying with ISIS

200 Israeli Arabs Suspected of Identifying with ISIS

Tuesday, 5 April, 2022 - 06:15
The wreckage of a car, used by an Arab assailant in a ramming and stabbing attack that killed four people at a gas station and a shopping center in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba, stands at an intersection after he crashed into another vehicle. The knife-wielding assailant, identified by Israeli police as an Arab citizen of Israel, was shot dead by a passerby, in Beersheba, Israel, March 22, 2022. (Reuters)

Investigations carried out by the Israeli Security Apparatus into last month’s Beersheva and Hadera attacks revealed that around 200 Israeli Arabs identify with ISIS and therefore need to be closely monitored.

Twenty of those Arabs might carry out attacks in Israel in the organization’s name, the investigations also revealed.

A high-ranking security official in Tel Aviv said Defense Minister Benny Gantz has already issued orders restricting movement for six Israeli Arabs, all of whom are residents of occupied East Jerusalem.

The source said the minister is also considering issuing 14 other administrative detention orders, adding that there are currently 43 detainees suspected of collaborating with ISIS.

“There is a difficulty in issuing such orders against Arab citizens who hold Israeli citizenship, and therefore, officials are reviewing laws to expand the scope of their application to Israeli citizens,” the source said.

On March 22, a knife-wielding Arab man killed four people and seriously wounded two others in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba before he was shot dead by armed residents.

Days later, two police officers were killed in an attack by two Israeli Arab gunmen in the northern city of Hadera.

Although Israeli security did not find evidence proving that the perpetrators are linked to ISIS, they believe that the attackers are influenced by the ideas of this organization and find the practices of its members in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere as inspiration.

Investigators also revealed that dozens of Israeli Arabs have traveled to Syria, Iraq or Sinai to join ISIS there.

A few of them were killed while fighting in for the organization.

Last Sunday, Israeli security officials held a meeting to assess the security situation following the series of attacks last month.

They briefed Prime Minister Bennett Naftali and Gantz on their large-scale intelligence effort to monitor social media and take other steps to identify potential suspects.

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