Jerusalem, 7 October 2001

ISA arrest Palestinian father of 13 recruited by Hizbullah to perpetrate terrorist acts in Israel
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

The Israel Security Agency (ISA) announced today (Sunday), October 7, 2001 that it has recently arrested, with the assistance of the IDF and Israel Police, a Palestinian resident of Hizmah who had been recruited by Hizbullah to perpetrate terrorist acts in Israel.

The Palestinian, Suleiman Ahmed Suleiman Rizek, born in 1965 and father of 13 children, was recruited by Hizbullah militants during February of this year while he was on the Haj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia. Rizek told investigators that the Hizbullah assigned him the task of gathering intelligence information on settlements in the area where he lived and to investigate the possibility of acquiring weapons.

In addition, the Hizbullah ordered him to develop contacts with the Israeli Arab population with the intention of exploiting these contacts in the future.

Rizek further told investigators that the Hizbullah enquired into the possibility of recruiting one of his sons, as well as other people he knew, for terrorist activities. In his contacts with the Hizbullah, Rizek expressed his readiness to undergo military training in Lebanon. He received money from Hizbullah in order to finance his activities, but he was arrested by the ISA before he succeeded in perpetrating any of his plans. The Israeli Defense establishment sees this incident as part of Hizbullah’s unending efforts to build a terrorist infrastructure in Israel. In this case, the Hizbullah did not hesitate to cynically exploit the Haj pilgrimage in order to recruit the father of 13 children regardless of the expected consequences for his family.