Two Galilee residents who were recruited by Hezbollah were arrested about a month ago by the Shin Bet and Israel Police. The arrest was released for publication on Sunday when the state prosecution is filing indictments against the two, residents of the villages of Yarka and Jadida. The prosecution will ask for a remand to jail for both suspects until the end of the proceedings.
The two suspects, Sultan Atallah, 55, from the Druze village of Yarka, and Rami Shami, 33 from the Muslim village of Jadida, contacted two more suspects to assist them in the operation and together conducted tours near the border fence with Lebanon in search of suitable points for crossing and smuggling. The four suspects were arrested a month ago and transferred to the Shin Bet for interrogation.
According to the Shin Bet, the two were asked to carry out a kidnapping in Israel, and one of them was promised a very high sum of money if he could assist in the abduction of Israeli citizens, whether by carrying it out himself or by providing information on a suitable target for kidnapping. They were also asked to help locate sensitive locations within the State of Israel where missiles could be fired and cause more damage.
According to police, the two suspects met several times in Turkey with Lebanese arms and drug smugglers operating on behalf of Hezbollah. They were asked to carry out arms smuggling into the territory of the State of Israel to establish an infrastructure of dormant Hezbollah agents.
A senior Shin Bet official said: “This affair illustrates the efforts of Iranian and other terrorist elements to exploit the Arab and Druze citizens of Israel. Citizens who receive inquiries from terrorist elements must report it to the authorities to avoid a situation in which they would find themselves involved in serious terrorist activities.”
Israel Police issued a statement saying: “Israeli security forces have identified increasing attempts by Hezbollah elements under Iranian directive seeking to recruit and equip minority citizens of Israel with the means and weapons to carry out terrorist activity inside the State of Israel and assist Hezbollah in the event of a military confrontation.”