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2 Jerusalem Arabs Charged in Foiled Terror Plot

Two Jerusalem Arab men were indicted Monday morning on charges of plotting to carry out a terrorist attack on Jews in the holy city.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 3/18/2013, 2:07 PM

Silwan Valley
Silwan Valley
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Two Jerusalem Arab men were indicted Monday morning on charges of plotting to carry out a terrorist attack on Jews in the holy city.

The suspects, 26-year-old Muhammad Badr and 35-year-old Muhammad Odeh are both residents of the Silwan (Shiloach) neighborhood, nestled in the valley just south of the Old City of Jerusalem.

Both suspects were brought before a judge in the Jerusalem District Court. Badr was charged with conspiracy, arson and aggravated intentional bodily harm, and Odeh was charged with aiding in causing aggravated intentional bodily harm. 

In addition, Odeh was also accused of aiding in the manufacture of a weapon, and other charges.

The ancient neighborhood of Shiloach was formerly an Arab enclave after Jews were forced out with the Jordanian occupation following the 1948 War of Independence. However, it has slowly become re-integrated with the return of a Jewish presence following the restoration of the area to the city of Jerusalem during the 1967 Six Day War.

A number of Arabs living in the area deeply resent the return of Jews to the neighborhood. They, and outside leftist supporters, invest great efforts in attempting to intimidate and harass the Jewish families into leaving, but few have.

On January 30, 11 agitators operating in the neighborhood were arrested on suspicion of hurling rocks and bricks at police officers. The arrests came two days after riots that broke out during the demolition of two illegal structures in the neighborhood. One police officer was wounded by the attackers, and five rioters were arrested in connection with the violence during the incident.