Taibe Arabs try digging tunnel towards Samaria

Three Taibe Arabs were caught digging a tunnel in the direction of Judea and Samaria, swore allegiance to ISIS.

Yoel Domb ,

Taibe, one of the large Arab towns in the "triangle"
Taibe, one of the large Arab towns in the "triangle"

The Central District State Prosecutor presented three indictments Thursday at the Central District court against three Taibe residents, Amir Jabbara (20) Muhammed Nashef (32) and Ibrahim Sheikh Yussuf (26).

The three are accused of being members of a terrorist group, as well as plotting to commit a crime against society with hostile motives, aggravated arson and other crimes.

According to the indictment presented by attorney Roy Rice, the three swore allegiance to ISIS and its leader, Abu Bakr Al-Bagdadi, between May and September this year.

Both before they swore allegiance and afterwards, they acted under the influence of the extreme religious ideologies of ISIS and were therefore charged with membership of a terrorist group.

On 11.9.16, the eve of the Moslem Sacrificial Festival there was supposed to be a performance at the Taibe soccer stadium by Israeli Arab singer Haytham Khalaily who became famous after his successful appearance in the Arab Idol reality show in Beirut. On 9.9.16, preparations for his performance commenced, including erecting a stage and placing plastic chairs. The accused saw this as an act of heresy against Islam. They therefore collaborated together and entered the stadium and set fire to equipment there, destroying some 500 plastic chairs,various parts of the stage, an electric circuit board, and a light fixture, causing estimated damage of some 78,000 NIS. For this crime the three suspects are accused of plotting to commit a crime against society with hostile motives as well as aggravated arson.

Despite the arson attack and the attendant damage it caused, the Taibe municipal officials were determined to maintain the performance as planned. They spent considerable efforts and resources to fix the damage and to perform the necessary work to restore the stage in the short time left before the performance. On 11.9.16 the stadium was ready for the performance and it began as planned with 3000 attendees. At 8.21 P.M. Muhammed Nashef called the police and said to the receptionist "Are you listening? Listen! We have hidden an explosive device in the stadium. Remove all the people from there because it will explode in another 10 minutes." This was another attempt to stop the 'heretical' performance after the first effort had failed. The three were charged with threats and hostile intent towards the public.

Iמ October 2015 or thereabouts, Amir and Ibrahim plotted to dig a tunnel from Northeast Taibe under the security fence between Taibe and Samaria which would reach the Palestinian village of Gabbara in the Tulkarm region which is located some 3 kms from Taibe. The tunnel was to be used for smuggling weapons from Judea and Samaria which would then be stored in Ibrahim's storeroom for use in the future if ISIS wanted to attack targets in Israel. It could also serve to smuggle pro- ISIS Palestinians into Israel to perform attacks.

The two had dug a tunnel four meters deep by December 2015. The two suspected that the IDF had discovered the tunnel and left it open in order to ambush and arrest them so they stopped digging. They had performed observations at the site and intended to continue digging and were therefore charged with plotting to commit a crime.

Ibrahim is also charged with illegal manufacture of weapons after he manufactured a pipe bomb and exploded it in an open field.

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