Jerusalem, August 27, 2003

Israeli Arabs detained for investigation
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

The ISA together with the Israel Police, on August 11, 2003, detained for investigation three Israeli Arabs, two of whom admitted that they were recruited as activists for an Islamic organization by Hebron Hamas terrorist Yusuf Nakairah. Nakairah was illegally staying in the Negev, and the three together gathered information in order to perpetrate attacks against IDF soldiers in the Negev.

Yusuf Mahmud Nakairah, 21, a Hamas terrorist from Hebron, was arrested on July 8, 2003. Nakairah admitted that he had been recruited by the military wing of the Hamas and had been active in recruiting others in order to establish a military cell. Nakairah was able to enlist two Israeli Arabs from the Negev, Ali Ariyat and a minor, and also admitted that Ali’s brother who was a tracker in the IDF, had trained them in shooting and in the preparation of pipe bombs, for the purpose of kidnapping a former senior army officer, kidnapping soldiers, murdering soldiers in order to steal their weapons, and a car bombing of and shooting at a bus full of soldiers.

The following terrorists were arrested on August 11, 2003:

Ali Aziz Saliman Ariyat, 22, an Israeli citizen from Pzoret, who admitted that he had been active in military training, and had gathered information on bus movements in the area of Nevatim junction in order to perpetrate an attack against soldiers. Ariyat was also involved in planning to kidnap soldiers and attack residents of Be’er Sheva. Ariyat also tried to recruit a Tel Arad resident to his terror cell.