Israeli police alleged on Sunday that six Palestinian residents of the Shufat refugee camp and the neighboring village of Anata in Jerusalem have been indicted for being involved with the Islamic State group (ISIS) and planning to carry out attacks in Israel and Jerusalem, following weeks of violent detention raids into the camp.
According to a statement from Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri, the Jerusalem District Prosecution filed the indictments after a month-and-a-half-long investigation by police and Israel’s internal security agency, the Shin Bet.
Al-Samri did not specify in her statement when the suspects were detained, though Israeli newspaper Haaretz claimed the arrests were made some 10 days ago.
The charges against them reportedly included attempting to aid an enemy during war, membership in an illegal organization, membership in a terror organization, and aiding a terror group.
Haaretz identified the mastermind as 29-year-old Ahmad Shweiki, who set up the network in 2015, according to the indictment.
According to Haaretz, the men also stand accused of attempting to reach Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula via Israel, and Syria via Jordan and Turkey, to join forces with ISIS fighters there. They, however, reportedly failed to make it past the borders.
After weeks of violent raids, Israel charges 6 Palestinians with joining ISIS https://t.co/O41AV7PrmW #palestine
— Ma'an News Agency (@MaanNewsAgency) October 2, 2016
News of the charges come after Israeli forces violently raided Palestinian communities overnight in the Jerusalem area, particularly in Shufat refugee camp, in recent weeks.
The Jerusalem-based Wadi Hilweh Information Center said on Wednesday, the seventh consecutive day the refugee camp was raided, that Israeli forces had detained more than 40 Palestinians from the Shufat refugee camp since the beginning of September.
Locals had told Ma’an that the raids were unjustified and were an attempt by Israeli forces to frighten and provoke residents.