Israel’s Shin Bet says it foiled plot to kill National Security Minister Ben Gvir

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Israeli security services said Thursday they had foiled a plot to kill the country’s far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir.

Eleven people including seven Palestinian Israeli citizens were arrested in the joint operation with the police and the army, the internal security service Shin Bet said.

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“Shin Bet dismantled a terrorist cell that was preparing attacks in Israel, notably against the Minister Itamar Ben Gvir,” the agency said in a statement, nearly six months into Israel’s war against the Iran-backed Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.

They said the suspects had planned to kill Ben Gvir with a rocket launcher.

“The cell had (also) planned attacks against military bases, Ben Gurion Airport and government offices in Jerusalem,” it added.

Ten of the suspects were charged at a court in Beersheva in the south of the country on Thursday, the security service said.

Ben Gvir, who heads the Jewish Power party, is known for his inflammatory rhetoric against Palestinians.

In February he called for stricter controls on Palestinians in the West Bank - where he is a settler - saying they “should not be allowed” into Jerusalem to pray during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Police and Shin Bet also said they had averted two planned attacks in annexed east Jerusalem by “supporters of Islamic State.”

Attacks linked to ISIS would be a rarity in the country.

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Earlier in the war with Hamas, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu likened Hamas to the extremists, and in November the army said it had killed Nabil Halbiya, “an Islamic State operative”, during an exchange of fire in the occupied West Bank.

Police said one of the alleged Jerusalem attacks was to be at a police station and the other near a football stadium.

Three people had been arrested, their statement added.

One of the suspects “facilitated the training” of the other two who “incited them to undergo terrorist indoctrination abroad,” it said.

The three would appear in court Thursday, it said.

Hamas’s attack on October 7 triggered the war in Gaza and resulted in the deaths of 1,170 Israelis and foreigners in southern Israel, most of them civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures.

Vowing to destroy Hamas, Israel has been conducting a relentless air and ground offensive that has killed at least 33,037 people in the Gaza Strip, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in Gaza.

With AFP

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