Israel bars two Arab suspects from leaving country

Interior Minister Deri says intelligence suggests both men intended to plan attacks in capital, West Bank.

Border Police officers patrol Temple Mount (photo credit: REUTERS)
Border Police officers patrol Temple Mount
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Citing imminent threats to national security, Interior Minister Arye Deri signed an order Thursday temporarily preventing two Arab terrorist suspects from leaving Israel.
Deri said he made the decision based on security intelligence suggesting that both Mesbah Mesbah Abu Sabih Sabih and Muhammad Yassin Sabah Yassin intended to leave the country to “promote actions that constitute a danger to the state and its citizens.”
The ban will be in effect for four weeks, but can be extended to up to six months, the minister said.
While details of the threats remain unclear, Deri said the suspects planned to target Jerusalem and the West Bank.
According to the minister, Sabih, an east Jerusalem Hamas activist who works with the Al-Shabab Al-Aksa organization, which incites violence by falsely purporting that Jews intend to seize al-Aksa Mosque, intended to travel to Jordan to meet with other extremists.
Yassin, also of east Jerusalem, works with the jihadist al-Hirak al-Shabab youth movement and also allegedly planned to incite violence in the capital and West Bank while out of the country, Deri said.
Noting the gravity of barring the men from leaving the country, Deri said he felt he had no other choice based on the information he received from security personnel.
“Signing an order prohibiting Israelis from departing Israel is an unusual step, but the government must exert full legal authority whenever there is a danger to the security of the state or its citizens,” he said