Four school teachers from southern Israel were arrested by police and security forces for allegedly supporting Islamic State and using their positions to dispense propaganda to students and educators.The arrests were made public on Monday, as the four teachers and two additional suspects were indicted in the Beersheba District Court.They have been indicted on a number of charges, including distributing an illegal organization’s materials, support for a terrorist organization, conspiracy to commit a crime and illegally exiting the country.Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon declared Islamic State an illegal organization last September.According to the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), the six suspects, all from the Negev, held secret meetings in which they discussed Islamic State ideology and watched propaganda videos and speeches by the group’s leaders.In addition, some of the six planned to join the fighting in Syria on behalf of the terrorist organization, the Shin Bet said.According to an indictment presented against one of the defendants, from the end of 2013 until June 2015 the cell met once or twice a week next to a mosque in Hura. Present at one of their meetings in April 2014 was Othman Abdelkayan, a doctor who was planning to do a residency program at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba before he left for Syria to join Islamic State and died soon after.The suspects include Bashir Jabrin Salim abu Alkiyan, 26, an elementary school teacher in Hura; Akram Alab Ahmed abu Alkiyan, 30, an elementary school teacher in Rahat; Muhammad Alab Ahmed abu Alkiyan, 27, a high-school teacher in Hura; Khader Hassan abu Alkiyan, 27, from Hura; Sharif Shahada Rezek abu Alkiyan, 23, from Atir; and Hamza Abed Ali Alkiyan, 27, a teacher from Hura.
The Shin Bet said other people questioned included a school principal and teachers suspected of having known about the men’s activities and failing to report them to authorities.Other members of the cell already have left Israel to fight in Syria, it said.“Over the last few months, Beduin teachers in Hura have been advancing the ideology of Islamic State among their pupils,” said Education Minister Naftali Bennett.“Teachers will not be terrorists in Israel. I asked them to be fired for educating for terror. We will have zero tolerance for those who advance terror.”He also called for Education Ministry director-general Michal Cohen to revoke their teaching licenses.The ministry congratulated the Shin Bet and the police for their “important actions that brought to the immediate halt of the hostile action within the Israeli education system.”The ministry said it would continue to act together with the security forces to maintain the safety of Israeli pupils and, in the coming days, will work in the schools where the educators were arrested to restore confidence and stability to the educators and students.
Bennett responds to arrest of "ISIS teachers" in Negev