update deskIsrael News

Israeli Arabs arrested in Turkey on terror charges

Yosef Janid and Issa Bichon had plans to "liberate" the Al-Aqsa Mosque atop the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City from Israeli control.

The Turkey-Syria border near Nusaybin in southern Turkey. Photo by William John Gauthier/Wikimedia Commons.
The Turkey-Syria border near Nusaybin in southern Turkey. Photo by William John Gauthier/Wikimedia Commons.

Two Israeli Arabs were arrested in Turkey last month after they were caught attempting to join a terrorist organization in neighboring Syria with the goal of “liberating” Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque from Israeli control, the Israel Police announced on Tuesday.

Yosef Janid and Issa Bichon, from Yafo near Tel Aviv and Qalansawe in central Israel, were deported from Turkey and arrested upon landing in Israel, the police said in a statement. An indictment was filed on Tuesday.

The two men were detained before they were able to cross the border into Syria.

During their stay in Turkey, Janid and Bichon underwent physical and military training, including instruction in the use of firearms, as they prepared to “liberate” the Al-Aqsa Mosque Jerusalem, which has been under Israeli control since the Jewish state won a defensive war in 1967.

The two also “continuously consumed the terrorist content of global jihad,” according to the police statement, with evidence suggesting they had plans to carry out additional terrorist attacks in Israel and other countries.

On Thursday, the Israel Police and Israel Security Agency announced that security forces had arrested three residents of southeast Jerusalem’s Umm Tuba neighborhood on suspicion of being members of Islamic State.

The three men, all in their 20s, are believed to have made contact with ISIS terrorists through social media. They allegedly pledged allegiance to ISIS and had concrete plans to leave Israel and join the terrorist group.

On Nov. 5, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian ISIS operative during an overnight arrest raid in the Arab village of Abu Dis outside Jerusalem. Nabil Halabia was recently jailed in Israel but was released in July.

The IDF said that from the moment he was released, Halabia “recruited a squad, purchased weapons and carried out a shooting attack against IDF forces in the area.

“When forces arrived to arrest him, the terrorist opened fire, and in the exchange of fire, he was shot and killed,” the army said, adding that soldiers confiscated his makeshift submachine gun.

In the wake of Hamas’s Oct. 7 cross-border attack on southwestern Israel, security forces found an ISIS flag on the body of one of the terrorists they killed in Kibbutz Sufa.

“Hamas is ISIS—this is not a slogan because we found terrorists with ISIS flags. We also found ISIS booklets. Hamas is ISIS,” Israel Defense Forces Spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari noted on Oct. 12.

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