Saturday, May 21, 2005

5Israeli Jews held over plot to attack Temple Mount

Five Israeli Jews were arrested and released in recent weeks on suspicion of planning an attack on Temple Mount mosques, with the intention of disrupting the disengagement plan, Jerusalem Police and the Shin Bet security service revealed Monday.
The five, members of a group identified with the Bratslav Hasidic movement, were part of one of two separate plots by Jewish extremists to attack the Mount, in the Old City of Jerusalem, that were foiled by the defense establishment.
They were freed with limitations, and will not face charges on the grounds that they had been unable to implement their plan and had decided not to carry it out. However, sources in the police and the Shin Bet said there was not enough evidence to charge them. The Shin Bet was also reportedly concerned that a trial would require them to reveal sources.
The group, which was held for three weeks and released before Passover, is suspected of planning to fire a Lau anti-tank missile at the Mount and then to commit suicide.
According to the Shin Bet, suspect Avtalion Kadosh, 21, from Jerusalem, approached 23-year-old Eyal Karamani from Rehovot, to help him carrying out the attack. Kadosh also asked Karamani to approach the criminal underworld in a bid to obtain the weapons. He also involved his brother, Akiva Kadosh, 25, who later changed his mind and refused to cooperate with the others.
Kadosh told police during questioning that his goal was "to create a third intifada and a war with the Arab countries that would stop disengagement and lead to the transfer of the Arabs."
Israel Radio said the five suspects toured the area near the Temple Mount to find a convenient place from which to fire the missile, finally deciding on the roof of a yeshiva near the Mount. They were then to throw hand grenades at security forces who arrived at the scene, before shooting themselves.
When they realized they would not be able to obtain the necessary funds or know-how to carry out the attacks, they allegedly approached Elior Chen, 26, of Upper Beitar, who suggested they take a loan from the bank, and promised to connect them with army veterans who would show them how to use the weapons.
Another man, Ilan Hirschfeld, 61, from Ra'anana was detained over an alleged plan to fly a model aircraft fitted with a camera over the Mount and over Arab population areas as a provocation. He was released a few hours later, and no charges were filed.
In response to the reports, MK Uri Ariel (National Union) said, "This is a clear attempt to stain a loyal and law-abiding community struggling justly and fairly for its values."
The chairman of the National Union Knesset faction, Zvi Hendel, accused the Shin Bet of planting an agent provocateur, as it had done with Avishai Raviv prior to the assassination of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.
MK Zahava Gal-On (Yahad) said the police should relate more seriously to warnings of plots like the one made public Monday. MK Abdulmalik Dehamshe (United Arab List) warned Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that he would not be able to shirk responsibility if Jewish extremists harmed the mosques and ignited a conflagration.

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