Israeli Arab terror plot suspects charged

Indictments served against men who allegedly planned to kidnap and assassinate air force pilots.

Jihad 224.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
Jihad 224.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Two Israelis who were arrested by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) in August for allegedly setting up an Islamic Jihad cell near Ramallah and planning to assassinate air force pilots and scientists were indicted on Tuesday. Anis Zfori, a 20-year-old student at Bir Zeit University north of Ramallah, and Husam Halili, a 19-year-old who studies in Jordan, are both residents of the Western Galilee town of Shfaram. Zfori was charged with aiding the enemy during a time of war, conspiracy to assist the enemy, membership in an illegal organization and conspiracy to commit murder. His cousin, Halili, was charged with transferring money to the Islamic Jihad. In August, the pair had confessed to contacting Islamic Jihad's headquarters in Syria and to raising funds to buy weapons. The cell allegedly underwent training and planned a shooting attack on an IDF checkpoint near Ramallah, as well as attacks against Palestinians suspected of cooperating with Israel. The suspects had also allegedly begun planning the assassination of key Israeli figures such as IAF pilots, scientists and university lecturers. Zfori told investigators that after moving to Ramallah in 2006, he became friendly with members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine as well as with reporters from Hizbullah's Al-Manar satellite news station. He allegedly set up the cell together with Islamic Jihad members from Ramallah and had recruited Halili as someone who could potentially transfer money from Jordan to Israel. Halili told interrogators he had been aware of Anis's plans to commit acts of terrorism.