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newsIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

Israelis arrested for smuggling explosives and weapons from Jordan

Palestinian Islamic Jihad allegedly recruited the suspects.

Weapons seized near Mevo Dotan in northwestern Samaria, March 21, 2017. Credit: Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet).
Weapons seized near Mevo Dotan in northwestern Samaria, March 21, 2017. Credit: Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet).

Israeli authorities arrested three men—including two Arab Israelis—in early August accused of smuggling guns and explosive devices for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group, the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) announced on Tuesday.

The information was cleared for publication as prosecutors filed indictments in Nazareth District Court.

The Israeli nationals were named as Samer Knoh and Osama Haruf, both residents of the Tulkarm area in Samaria. The third suspect, also from the Tulkarm area, was not identified.

The Shin Bet said the three men were arrested on Aug. 3 while smuggling weapons across the Jordanian border. They were caught with guns and ammunition. Investigators discovered the two Israelis had been recruited by Palestinian Islamic Jihad operatives based in the Jenin refugee camp.

Further investigation revealed that Knoh and Haruf had transferred weapons and money to terrorist operatives in the Nur Shams refugee camp, near Tulkarm. The suspects also told interrogators details about terrorist attacks being planned in the Nur Shams camp.

Terrorist groups in Judea and Samaria have been using more powerful reverse-engineered Iranian improvised explosive devices. At the end of August, four Israeli soldiers were wounded by an IED during an operation in Nablus (Shechem) while escorting Jewish worshippers to Joseph’s Tomb in the city.

In recent weeks, Israeli forces intercepted two attempts to smuggle in Iranian explosives.

In the first instance, four Arab Israelis were caught in Lod with Claymore mine-type explosives directly linked to Hezbollah. Three days later, two large explosives were seized during an attempt to smuggle them from Jordan into Israel.

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