Jerusalem, 24 June 2003

ISA arrests five people on charges of financing terrorist organizations and passing sensitive information to enemy states
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

On May 13, 2003, a joint ISA-Israel Police operation resulted in the arrest of 18 senior Islamic Movement officials on suspicion that they were involved in carrying out a large number of security breaches.

After a 40-day investigation, five of those arrested – Sheikh Ra’ad Salah, Mahmud Mahajana, Umm al-Fahm Mayor Dr. Saliman Agbariyeh, Nasser Agbariyeh and Tawfik Mahajana – were charged. Two institutions were also charged: The Institute for Humanitarian Aid, headed by Ra’ad Salah and the Committee for Humanitarian Rescue, headed by Dr. Saliman Agbariyeh.

The five are charged with raising money abroad and transferring it to Hamas in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, and also to prisoners convicted of perpetrating terror attacks.

In addition, charges of passing sensitive information to Iran and maintaining contacts with foreign agents were filed against Sheikh Ra’ad Salah and Mahmud Mahajana.

Since the IDF withdrawal from Lebanon, Iran has made efforts to advance its vision of destroying Israel. Iran has significantly increased its activity against Israel in the intelligence and operational spheres, and devotes money, resources and military initiatives to this end. In addition, Iran has established new institutions, whose purpose is to gather information of possible civilian and military targets within Israel, on the structure of Israeli politics and society, and on the Arab population in Israel.

Iranian activities in encouraging and aiding Palestinian terrorists to perpetrate terror attacks have increased since the Aqaba summit, with the aim of wrecking the political process.

Furthermore, Iranian influence in terrorist organizations has increased to the extent that the Palestinian Authority is losing its ability to influence them.