Cleared for publication: Islamic Jihad terror cell planning attack on Israeli Navy arrested
Ten Palestinian Islamic Jihad Muslim terrorists were arrested last month formi gathering intelligence for a planned attack on a Navy ship, it was cleared for publication on Wednesday.
On March 12, an Israeli Navy vessel stopped a Gazan fishing boat and arrested those on board during routine operations off the Gaza coast after the boat was seen sailing outside the permitted fishing zone.
One of the suspects, Muslim terrorist Amin Saadi Muhammad Jamaa, a 24-year-old fisherman from Rafah, is a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group.
Jamaa was offered $5,000 to carry out the terror attack, which was meant to be an act of revenge after the IDF destroyed an Islamic Jihad cross-border terror tunnel, eliminating several of its terrorists.
On instructions from his Islamic Jihad terror group commanders, Jamaa took part in the planning of a terror attack against an Israeli Navy vessel, that would’ve been carried out by six Islamic Jihad terrorists in three boats.
During Jamaa’s interrogation, the Shin Bet learned the plan was to use one boat for deception. While the Navy vessel would have turned its focus on the deception boat, another boat would have attacked the Navy ship, launching a Kornet guided missile at it, killing and wounding the soldiers on board.
A third boat would have then drawn near the Navy ship in an effort to abduct one or several of the soldiers on board, so they could be used as bargaining chips in a future prisoner exchange deal.
The Shin Bet investigation also found that as part of his preparations for the attack, Jamaa conducted several observations of Navy ships, gathering information about their locations, the number of soldiers on board and the weapons on the vessels.
Jamaa was indicted Wednesday at the Beer Sheva District Court.
A statement from the Shin Bet and IDF said, “This is another link in a chain of terror attacks planned and initiated by Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip in recent months, including a cross-border attack tunnel that was neutralized on October 30, 2017, the firing of mortar shells at Israel on November 30, 2017 and December 28, 2017, and more.”