Handcuffed 260 R.
(photo credit: Reuters/Benoit Tessier)
The Southern District Attorney’s Office served an indictment in the Beersheba
District Court on Thursday afternoon, charging a Gaza man with a series of
national security offenses.
The indictment lists three separate charges
and alleges that 23-year-old Rafah resident Ahram bin Hussein al-Zufi joined
Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) – designated an illegal organization since 1990
– and underwent illegal military and weapons training with an intent to harm
In 2005, Zufi allegedly met Muhammad Jamia’an al-Zufi, a
member of the PIJ’s military wing Saraya al-Quds (the Quds Brigades). Muhammad
suggested that the suspect join the PIJ, and promised him that if he did so, he
could later join its military wing.
Zufi allegedly agreed to the proposal
and joined the PIJ, attending religious classes every Friday with several known
PIJ activists. Shortly afterward, the indictment says, Muhammad made good on his
promise and recruited Zufi to the Quds Brigades.
According to the
indictment, after he joined the military wing, Zufi took part in 30 days of
military training in the Gaza Strip’s Morag region. The exercises were conducted
by masked al-Quds Brigades operatives, the indictment continues, and included
training in how to use weapons such as Kalashnikov rifles.
against Zufi include attempted murder, conspiracy to murder, and weapons
offenses, with the indictment alleging that he conspired to kill Israeli
soldiers as part of an al-Quds Brigades cell run by Ismail
Throughout 2006, Zufi and his fellow cell members Salah
al-Arjeh, Salman al- Qadi and abd-Alad allegedly conducted “guard duties” every
night between midnight and 5 a.m., to prevent IDF troops from entering the area
around Rafah airport and the Brazil neighborhood near the Rafah border crossing.
The cell members were all armed with Kalashnikov rifles and flak jackets, and
Zufi carried an explosive device equipped with a 300- meter-cord and a remote
power switch, the indictment says.
During these actions, Zufi and his
cell allegedly reported their movements via radio to a PIJ operations room, and
the indictment charges that Zufi conspired with Muhammad to give information to
the enemy in order to harm Israel’s security.
From 2005 to 2008, Zufi
allegedly gathered information about IDF tank and aircraft movements and passed
this to the PIJ’s operations room. He is charged with drawing maps of IDF troop
locations and bases as well, and passing these to another PIJ
The defendant also attempted to shoot IDF soldiers, the
indictment charges, on one occasion firing a shot at IDF troops and on another
firing 20 rounds at soldiers in Gaza.
In an ironic twist, Zufi is also
charged with infiltrating Israel, giving false information and obstructing
justice. He was arrested in January, when he and another man, 22-year-old Ismail
al-Zufi, attempted to infiltrate the country from Rafah in the southern Gaza
According to the indictment, he and Ismail planned for the latter
to be arrested after crossing over from Gaza and tell his interrogators that he
was a PIJ activist so he could be imprisoned, at which point he would receive a
salary from the Palestinian Prisoners Association. A Palestinian Authority law
enacted in 2011 grants monthly salaries to Palestinians imprisoned in Israel for
However, when Israeli security forces
interrogated Ismail, they realized he had given false information, the
The Southern District Attorney’s Office also served an
indictment in the Beersheba Magistrate’s Court on Thursday against Ismail
al-Zufi, charging him with infiltration, providing false information, conspiracy
to commit a crime and obstructing justice. Two other Gaza residents were
indicted alongside him, but details of the charges against those two have not
been released, as they are both minors.