Israeli security forces arrested over the past month several Palestinian members of an outlawed Islamist group on suspicion of involvement in attempts to carry out attacks against troops and visitors at the Temple Mount, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced Sunday.
The Jerusalem District Prosecutor's Office filled indictments against five of the 'al-Shabab al-Aqsa' operatives on charges of violating Israel's anti-terrorism law. An request for an extension of the remand until the end of legal proceedings was also filed while some charges and further details of the case remain under gag order.
Israel has declared the al-Shabab al-Aqsa a terrorist organization. According to the Shin Bet, the series of arrests in east Jerusalem were conducted in light of intensive intelligence and operational activity by the Shin Bet and police.
The arrests were "aimed at ensuring free access to the Temple Mount, preserving the status quo at the compound, and preventing terrorists from undermining the security situation at the complex," the Shin Bet stated.
Among those arrested in the operation was Mahmoud Abd al-Wahhab Said Abd al Lattif, a resident of the Old City and senior activist in the organization, who was suspected of recruiting activists to the group
The al-Shaba al-Aqsa activists were said to identify with the Hamas movement and operated with the intend of deterring visitors from the Temple Mount by means that have in the past included violent riots.