Gazan indicted for plot to attack Israeli navy vessel

By Middle East Affairs

Israel said Wednesday it indicted a Palestinian from the Gaza Strip for allegedly plotting to fire a missile at an Israeli navy vessel, as well as kidnap soldiers.

According to Haaretz, the Shin Bet security service arrested 10 suspects from Rafah and accuses them of planning to use the kidnapped Israeli soldiers as “bargaining chips after firing a Russian-made Kornet anti-tank guided missile to damage their vessel.”

The lead suspect, 23-year-old Amin Juma, as well as two others were indicted. Haaretz said Juma is a purported member of Islamic Jihad.

The Shin Bet said the suspects were arrested March 12 when their boats strayed from the permitted fishing zone. The Shin Bet believes their plan was to lure the Israeli vessel with one boat and attack with the second, using a missile, while the third would approach and kidnap the Israeli soldiers.

Haaretz said intelligence services believe terrorist organizations are focusing more on sea attacks now that Israel has successfully blockaded many of the Palestinians’ underground tunnels.

According to the news agency, Juma is accused of being in contact with Islamic Jihad since 2016 and was allegedly offered $5,000 to participate in the foiled attack on the navy vessel.

He is also suspected, Haaretz said, of smuggling explosives and arms from Egypt into the Gaza Strip on three different occasions in the past decade.

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