Palestinians take part in a rally organized by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) to celebrate the 43rd anniversary of its founding in the West Bank city of Ramallah December 18, 2010.
(photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN)
Belgian-Palestinian Mustafa Khaled Awad was arrested last month on suspicion of terrorist activity as a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Israel Police and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) said in a joint statement Wednesday.
Security authorities arrested Awad on July 19 at the Allenby crossing as he tried to enter Israel. A gag order on his arrest was lifted on Wednesday.
Awad, 36, is originally from a Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon, and immigrated to Belgium where he received citizenship.
A joint investigation of the Shin Bet and the Lahav 433 National Crime Unit revealed that Mustafa joined the PFLP and has been active in it since 2010. It was also revealed that Mustafa was a member of a cell of PFLP terrorist operatives living and working in Europe, and was in contact with terrorists from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and the West Bank.
As part of these activities, Awad underwent military training in Lebanon in 2015, which was led by Hezbollah operatives, according to findings of the investigation.
The investigation also revealed that Awad helped transfer funds from the PFLP terrorist organization in Syria and Lebanon to European activists.
The Central District Attorney’s Office is expected to file an indictment against Awad for terrorist offenses.
The joint statement by the Israel Police and Shin Bet highlighted that “The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine is a Palestinian terrorist organization that advocates armed struggle against the State of Israel.” The group is responsible for dozens of terrorist attacks against Israelis at home and abroad, including the murder of the late minister Rehavam Ze’evi in 2001.
“The findings of the investigation attest to the increasing proximity between Palestinian terrorist organizations to the Shi’ite axis in general and to Hezbollah in particular,” the statement said. “This includes the allocation of Hezbollah’s resources and facilities for the training of Palestinian terrorist operatives trained in Lebanon and sent to advance terrorism. The investigation illustrates the threat posed by terrorist organizations that recruit activists with foreign documentation that allows them to enter Israel.”
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