11 arrested over plot to assassinate Itamar Ben-Gvir with an RPG

The group comprised Arab Israelis and residents of the West Bank


National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir leads an Otzma Yehudit Party faction meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, March 18, 2024 (Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Israel Security Agency has thwarted a plot to kill National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir using a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG), the agency said on Thursday.

Seven Arab Israelis and four Arabs from the West Bank were arrested over the conspiracy.

The Israel Defense Forces and Israel Police were also involved in the investigation.

According to the Shin Bet, the cell also planned to attack Ben-Gurion Airport, the government complex (Kiryat HaMemshala) in Jerusalem’s Givat Ram neighborhood, Israel Defense Forces bases and other sensitive sites and the town of Kiryat Arba. In addition, the suspects planned to kidnap Israeli soldiers.

“Within this framework, there was even an intention to assassinate National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, by obtaining an RPG missile in order to carry out the attack,” the Shin Bet said.

Ben-Gvir responded to the foiled plot against him, thanking the security services and saying it would not stop his work as security minister.

“My message to those terrorists: I am of course not deterred, just the opposite. I will continue to lead the Israel Police to a determined policy in the fight against terrorism, its aides and supporters, and the prison service to treat terrorists as they deserve,” Ben-Gvir stated.

The cell planned to rent a plot of land in Rahat in the Negev or in the West Bank to establish a factory with an underground complex to manufacture weapons and train for the attacks.

They also worked to establish contact with Hamas terrorists in Gaza for funding and instructions. At least one of the suspects did contact a Hamas operative, who offered money for the attacks, according to the Shin Bet.

The Israeli suspects are Bilal Nassara, the head of the cell; Wissam Siwati, Hamza Ghaith, Saud Abu Laban, and Sameh al-Obra, all from Rahat; Yousef Abu Hawli, from Lod; and Fahmi Kathani, from Ma’ale Iron.

The suspects have been named as Akram Ammer, responsible for recruitment, from Tulkarem; Muhammad Sabheh, also from Tulkarem; and Ahmed Atiq and Ahmed Saleh, both from Jenin.

They were charged in the Central District Court in Lod on Thursday.

Also on Thursday, four Arabs from eastern Jerusalem who had sworn allegiance to ISIS, two of whom planned to attack a police station near the city’s Teddy Stadium, were indicted.

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