hamas rally ap.
(photo credit: AP [file])
Indictments were filed on Monday at the Haifa District Court against two Israeli Arab dentists from the Galilee who were arrested on suspicion of helping Hamas plan bombings in Israel.
The two were identified as Nazmi Hassin, 35, and A'salam Zeidan. They were arrested in September, but news of the arrest was under a gag order until Sunday night, when security forces revealed the arrest.
According to security sources, the pair had studied dentistry in Romania in the 1990s. After being recruited into Hamas they even underwent espionage training in Turkey, linked up with a handler and carried out missions for Hamas once they returned home.
Hassin, 35, from Nazareth, told interrogators that he was trained in surveillance, intelligence collection, encryption and clandestine activity. The training was held during a five-day period in Istanbul. Plans to send him to Iran for military training fell through because he only had an Israeli passport.
Once back in his Galilee village, Hassin helped recruit Zeidan, his partner at their dentistry office in Kfar Manda. He also passed on the names of at least three other Israeli Arabs to his Hamas contact for potential recruitment.
Zeidan, 36, told his interrogators he agreed to find safe houses for Hamas members transporting "the goods." In 1999, Zeidan traveled to Turkey for training with Hamas, that included learning how to obtain fertilizer used for making explosives, bomb assembly and transmitting orders via e-mail accounts. He also served as a courier for Hamas and delivered money to a Hamas member in Nazareth. In 2002, Zeidan met with a Hamas agent in Saudi Arabia and agreed to scout out potential crowded bombing sites in Tel Aviv. Hassin aided Zeidan in maintaining contact with their Hamas handler.
The Haifa district prosecutor charged them with aiding an enemy during war and contact with a foreign agent. Security sources said the case indicated how Hamas was taking advantage of Israeli citizens who have freedom of movement to wage terror against the state.
Meanwhile, on Sunday night gunmen opened fire at an Israeli vehicle on it's way to the settlement of Psagot. The army said no one was injured in the attack, but bullet casings were found.
Earlier, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at an Israeli vehicle south of Kalkilya, the army said. No one was wounded in the incident.
Meanwhile, security forces swept through the western Judean hills into hostile villages along the Green Line. Three suspected Hamas members were arrested in Nuba and Zurif and an Islamic Jihad man was nabbed in Beit Ula. Five more Hamas militants were arrested in Hebron and four in Dehariya and one in Bureij.
Also Sunday, Israel allowed the main border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt to reopen for 48 hours to allow humanitarian crossings.
The terminal, which had been shut since before the disengagement, was the scene of orderly passing on Sunday, in contrast to the wanton crossing of tens of thousands immediately after Israel pulled out. The Egyptians eventually sealed the border.
Israel has been trying to organize a new crossing at Kerem Shalom so it could monitor those entering the Gaza Strip, but the Palestinians have balked at this. They say that reopening the border is essential for the economy and for emergency medical treatment.
During the two days, Palestinians will also be allowed to cross into Saudi Arabia for the Ramadan haj pilgrimage.