Arab Israelis charged in Hamas plot to assassinate IDF officer

Brothers involved in criminal activity recruited by another brother in Gaza to carry out attack.

June 8, 2017 16:28
2 minute read.
Mazen Fuqaha

Arab Israelis charged in Hamas plot to assassinate IDF officer in revenge for killing of senior operative Mazen Fuqaha. (photo credit: REUTERS,SHIN BET)

Three Arab Israelis were charged Thursday with offenses connected to an alleged plot to assassinate an Israeli army officer in revenge for the March killing of senior Hamas operative Mazen Fuqaha, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) said on Thursday.

The Shin Bet, in cooperation with the Israel Police, arrested the three residents of Jaljulya, near Kfar Saba, including two brothers, after security services detained seven residents on suspicion of weapons trafficking.

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According to a Shin Bet statement, Mahmoud Muhammad Abd al-Karim Daoud revealed during the weapons-trafficking investigation that brothers Adam Ismail Muhammad Faqi – who had a police record for criminal activity – and Fares Ismail Muhammad Faqi – who was known to have provided non-material support to Islamic State – were planning an attack.

During the investigation, it was discovered that Adam Faqi had been recruited into Hamas by another brother, Muhammad, while in Gaza for a family wedding in 2014. He reportedly underwent small-arms training with senior Hamas figure Hassan Jabari, the brother of Ahmad Jabari, the former head of Hamas’s Izzadin Kassam Brigades who was assassinated by the IDF during Operational Pillar of Defense in 2012.

Adam was directed by Hamas to assassinate an IDF officer in revenge for Fuqaha’s killing in April 2017 by acquiring weapons and by recruiting another individual to carry out the attack. He and his brother then approached another resident of Jaljulya, Yassin Mar’ari, to obtain two pistols and silencers.

Since the latest wave of violence hit Israel and the West Bank starting in October 2015, numerous attacks by Hamas supporters have been thwarted in the West Bank and Jerusalem. Several Hamas cells planning or responsible for extensive terrorist activity in the region have been broken up by Israeli security forces who have carried out raids almost nightly in an effort to reduce the number of attacks.

Hamas blamed Israel for Fuqaha’s killing and publicly executed three men in late May for collaborating with Israel, which has denied any role in his death.

Fuqaha was jailed for life by Israel for his role in orchestrating a 2002 suicide bombing that killed nine people and wounded another 50. He was later released and deported to the Gaza Strip with more than 1,000 other Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit, who was held by Hamas for five years.

Following Fuqaha’s killing, Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Mashaal warned that the group was in “an open war against the criminal enemy.”

“By killing Fuqaha, the enemy told us: ‘I’ve scored a point against you and I can take away one of your heroes even in the heart of Gaza,’” Mashaal said in March, adding, “It’s a new blood debt that adds itself to all those before.”

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