Israel says it foiled Iranian plot to target, spy on senior Israeli politicians

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In Jerusalem, Israel, the country’s internal security agency reported the arrest of five Palestinians allegedly involved in a conspiracy linked to Iran. The Shin Bet security service claimed that an Iranian security operative residing in Jordan recruited three Palestinians from the Israeli-occupied West Bank and two Palestinian citizens of Israel for the purpose of gathering intelligence on prominent Israeli politicians.

The targets of this alleged plot included Itamar Ben-Gvir, the National Security Minister known for his far-right and nationalist stance, responsible for overseeing the police force in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. Yehuda Glick, a far-right Israeli activist of American origin and former parliament member, was also on the list of potential targets.

According to the Shin Bet, Israeli intelligence thwarted the plan, although no evidence was provided to support this claim. Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to the allegations.

Ben-Gvir, who has drawn criticism for his hard-line policies against Palestinians and anti-Arab rhetoric, especially in relation to the contested holy site in Jerusalem, was mentioned as a key figure in the plot. Glick, on the other hand, is known for advocating increased Jewish access and prayer rights at the sacred Jerusalem compound, which is the holiest site in Judaism and currently houses the Al Aqsa Mosque, the third-holiest site in Islam.

The Shin Bet did not disclose the identity of the Iranian official in Jordan believed to have orchestrated the conspiracy, who remains at large. However, three Palestinians in the West Bank—identified as Murad Kamamaja (47), Hassan Mujarimah (34), and Ziad Shanti (45)—were accused of gathering intelligence and smuggling weapons into Israel. Additionally, two Palestinian citizens of Israel faced charges related to their involvement in the plot, although the specific details of how they planned to target Ben-Gvir and other politicians were not provided.

Ben-Gvir claimed that the Palestinian suspects had conspired to assassinate an Israeli minister, without specifying whether he was the intended target. He expressed gratitude to Israeli security forces for uncovering and apprehending what he referred to as a “terrorist squad” and pledged to intensify his hard-line policies in response to the revelations.

Notably, Israel has regarded Iran as its chief adversary since the establishment of the Shiite theocracy in 1979 during the Islamic Revolution. Iran provides significant support to Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group, viewed by Israel as a major military threat on its borders, and also backs Palestinian Islamist militant organizations in the Gaza Strip.

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