Iranian plot to kill Itamar Ben-Gvir foiled says Shin Bet

The far right national security minister is said to have been the target of a plot organised in Tehran


Israel's National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir arrives to the site of a reported attack in the Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim in the occupied West Bank, on August 1, 2023. A suspected Palestinian gunman opened fire on August 1 at a group of Israelis in an occupied West Bank settlement, wounding four before being "neutralised" by an off-duty border officer, police said. (Photo by AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP) (Photo by AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images)

(JNS) Israel has caught a Tehran-sponsored terrorist cell plotting to assassinate National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, the Shin Bet security agency revealed on Wednesday.

Israeli forces arrested five suspects—three Palestinians and two Israeli citizens—who were recruited by the Islamic Republic.

The Shin Bet identified the three Palestinians as Ziad Shanti, 45, and Hassan Mujarimah, 34— both from Jenin—and 47-year-old Murad Kamamaja from the nearby village of Kafr Dan.

The Israelis were named as 23-year-old Hamad Hammadi from Nazareth and 18-year-old Yosef Hamad from Muqeible in the Gilboa region.

Mujarimah and Kamamaja were allegedly under the direction of a Jordanian working for Iranian security services.

They are said to have been tasked with smuggling weapons into Israel and collecting information on two targets: Ben-Gvir and former Knesset member Yehudah Glick.

However, due to Ben-Gvir’s security detail, Hammadi and Hamad could not get close enough to the minister to report anything meaningful.

Mujarimah and Kamamaja, who knew they were being directed by Iran, recruited Shanti, who in turn recruited the two Israelis. 

The Shin Bet said that in a “test run” for a future attack, the Israelis recently torched a car in Haifa and filmed it to prove their commitment to their Iranian masters.

Speaking on Wednesday, Ben-Gvir said: “I thank the members of the Shin Bet and the security services who exposed and captured the terrorist squad planning to assassinate an Israeli minister.

“I will continue to act fearlessly and even more vigorously to fundamentally change the conditions of imprisoned terrorists, to continue the war on terror, for the right of prayer and Jewish sovereignty on the Temple Mount, for the integrity of our country and for ensuring the safety and security of the citizens of Israel."

Earlier this month, Mossad Director David Barnea said that the agency, in cooperation with international allies, had so far this year foiled 27 plots by Iran to murder Israelis and Jews outside the borders of the Jewish state.

“The plots being pursued by these [terrorist] teams were orchestrated, masterminded and directed by Iran,” he said, noting that the plots took place “all over the world,” including “in Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia and South America.”

On Sunday, Barnea showed a video he said proved beyond a doubt that Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is directly involved in murder plots against Jews worldwide.

“The Iranian regime is no longer able to deny its involvement, and most important, it has no immunity,‎” he said.

“Any harm done to any Israeli or Jew in any way whatsoever will elicit a response against the Iranians who dispatched the terrorists and the policymakers who authorised the terror units to carry out the plots, from the bottom all the way up to the top."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant have also charged the Islamic Republic with orchestrating a recent surge in Palestinian terrorism.

Ben-Gvir, who leads the Otzma Yehudi (Jewish Power) party, is considered to be on the far right of Israeli politics.

He has previously attracted controversy for his work as a lawyer representing Jewish extremists accused of committing hate crimes and demands for the expulsion of Arab citizens from Israel.

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