Posted on April 05, 2018 by Ashleigh Cowie

Israeli Navy arrest ten Palestinian fisherman suspected of terrorist offences. The men are accused of plotting an attack on a military vessel.

The announcement came earlier today that the arrests had been made earlier last month. It’s believed the group are charged with plotting the attack, while one crew member faces charges of assisting a terrorist organisation.

Reports suggest the men were outside the inshore area where Israel allows Palestinians to fish, although this has not been confirmed.

In a statement, Israeli intelligence agency Shin Bet claimed that one of the men, Amin Saadi Muhammad Jamaa, was working on behalf of the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad. The agency alleges that he was collecting information that would be used in a missile strike on an Israeli naval vessel.

Shin Bet believe the group were planning to use an anti-tank missile, before capturing crewmembers from the Israeli vessel for use in a prisoner exchange. The alleged plot involved the use of three fishing boats – one for a distraction, one for the missile strike and a third for the kidnapping attempt.

Jamaa has been charged with membership in a terrorist organisation, handing over information to the enemy, conspiring to commit a crime and arms offences.

Jamaa’s lawyer,Muhammad Jabarin denied the allegations:

“He wasn’t an Islamic Jihad member, but a fisherman who was paid. It’s true he was caught with his phone taking pictures of the Navy’s Dabur-class patrol boat, but not to carry out an attack”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement congratulating the IDF and Shin Bet for halting the alleged plot: “This serves as evidence to the real intentions of the terrorist groups in Gaza, who are attempting to camouflage their murderous plans with provocations along the security fence”.

The other nine fishermen were briefly detained and have now been released.

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