Two of those arrested in January and February are 20-year-old men, the third is a 16-year old minor, all from the Arab-Israeli town of Um al-Fahm. The minor and one of the adults are supporters of the Islamic State terrorist organization and planned to carry out the attack in the group’s name, the Israel Security Agency, also known as the Shin Bet, announced on Monday, the day the alleged cell members were indicted.
Their plans called for a shooting attack similar to the one at the Al Aqsa Mosque in July 2017 in which two Israel Police officers were killed, according to the agency. The shooters in that attack also were from Um al-Fahm. The three indicted on Monday were arrested before they could procure weapons.
Some cell members also considered attacking synagogues and churches and security forces, carrying out vehicular attacks, and carrying out attacks over the Christmas holiday, according to the agency.
Also on Monday, the Nazareth district court sentenced a Jewish convert to Islam to 38 months in prison for attempting to join the Islamic State terrorist group in Syria. The Belarusian immigrant to Israel arrived in 1996 and was arrested a year ago. He is the first Jewish-born Israeli to be charged with ties to the Islamic State.