Ten Palestinians from Rafiach were arrested for questioning by the Israeli Navy and the General Security Service on suspicion of gathering intelligence and planning a terrorist attack on an Israeli Navy vessel.
On March 12th, during the ongoing security activity of the naval forces in the southern marine arena, a vessel was detained which exceeded the fishing zone and they carried out information-gathering operations on IDF forces. The suspect vessel was arrested by the fighters of the Palgat 916, a unit responsible for security in Israel’s southern waters along with a special unit of the navy.
Following interrogation by the Shin Bet with assistance of police, it was learned one of the detainees, Amin Sa’adi Muhammad Jama, 24, a fisherman from Rafiach, is an Islamic Jihad terrorist operative who, under the guidance of the organization’s commanders in Rafiach, participated in planning an attack against naval vessels by using a number of boats.
ISA & Navy have foiled an attack planned by Islamic Jihad in Gaza to attack an Israeli Navy vessel w/ 3 Palestinian fishing boats, who were supposed to fire an AT missile at the vessel and kill & take the sailors on board prisoner.
The planner of the attack has been arrested. pic.twitter.com/hBhz7jwsLh
— Ofir Gendelman (@ofirgendelman) April 4, 2018
The Shin Bet interrogation of Jama revealed that the plan was for one boat to be used for deception, to create a distraction while the second boat would attack the ship and launch a Kornet missile at it, with the aim of causing injury and killing of the soldiers on board. The third boat will approach the navy ship at this point in order to abduct the soldiers on board and negotiate their return towards obtaining the release of prisoners held by Israel.
It also emerged from the investigation that during the preparations for the attack, Amin Jama made a number of observations of the navy ships and collected information regarding the location of the navy ships, the number of soldiers on board and the weapons on the ships.
On Tuesday, 19 Nissan (April 4th), an indictment was filed against Jama in the Beersheva District Court.
Officials add, this is another link in the chain of terrorist attacks planned and initiated by the Islamic Jihad in Gaza in recent months, including the infiltration tunnel into Israel on October 30, 2017, mortar fire into Israel on November 30, 2017, and mortar fire at the communities on December 28, 2017.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the thwarting of the attack on the navy ship and linked it to Friday’s protests at the Gaza border.
“This is proof of the true intentions of the terror groups in Gaza who are trying to hide their murderous plans by staging provocations along our border whose sole purpose is to provide cover for terrorists to carry out their attacks against Israel,” he said.
Daoud Shehab, an Islamic Jihad spokesman, said he had no information about the Israeli announcement but that his group was involved in “open confrontation” against it.
“It’s also our right to look for suitable ways to force Israel to release Palestinian prisoners,” he added.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)