Three Palestinians affiliated with the Islamic State group were indicted for conspiring to carry out a major terrorist attack, the Shin Bet security agency said.
Ibrahim Sheikh Yusuf, 26, Muhammad Nashef, 32, and Amir Jabarah, 20, all residents of Taybeh, northeast of Jerusalem, were arrested in September in a joint police-Shin Bet operation. They were indicted Thursday before the Lod District Court on several security-related offenses, including affiliation with a terrorist organization, arms smuggling, and conspiracy to commit an act of terrorism.
The police asked the court to remand all three suspects pending the conclusion of legal proceedings.
According to available details, the three had sworn allegiance to Islamic State and were planning what the prosecution called a “Judgment Day-style” attack against “infidels.” They were allegedly planning to target the soccer stadium in Taybeh.
They allegedly planned to smuggle weapons using a tunnel dug between the Palestinian city of Tulkarem, east of Netanya, and Israel, and hide them in a cache under Yusuf’s house. They were also trying to expand a pre-existing tunnel Yusuf and Jabarah had found near the security fence close to Taybeh.
The cell was only able to expand the tunnel by a few feet before its members were arrested. The suspects led interrogators to the tunnel, which the military then swept and sealed.
Also on Thursday, the gag order placed on the investigation into Sunday’s deadly shooting attack in Jerusalem was partially lifted, identifying the terrorist as Musbah Abu Sbeih, 39, from the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan.
Channel 10 News reported Thursday night that during the four-minute shooting spree, Sbeih fired 25 to 30 bullets at his victims.
The investigation also discovered that while the attack was underway, an armed soldier who was nearby ran away instead of engaging the terrorist.
Sbeih, who was killed by police after a short pursuit, was a known Hamas operative, whose Facebook account was littered with posts and pictures inciting violence.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday visited the family of Israel Police 1st Sgt. Yossi Kirma, who was killed in the attack, to offer his condolences personally.
A policeman who was wounded in the attack was released from hospital on Thursday morning.