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An operative for the Islamic Movement in Israel’s Northern Branch was sentenced by the Beersheba District Court to eight years imprisonment Sunday for conspiracy to aid an enemy in time of war, and publicly supporting illegal organizations.
In a plea bargain under which additional charges were dropped, Fires Alomari of the village of Tzandala in the Galilee was also fined NIS 10,000. Alomari and three fellow Arab Israelis were arrested before they could carry out their plot to attack IDF soldiers.
Another defendant in the terrorist cell who had a limited role in the conspiracy was previously given a 30-month sentence. The trial of the two remaining defendants is ongoing.
Alomari would have been charged with attempted murder – and likely received a harsher sentence – had he and his fellow defendants not been apprehended before they completed plans for their attack. The cell was gathering information to either fire on, stab or ram IDF soldiers with a vehicle.
The indictment details the preliminary steps which the cell members undertook, including purchasing an illegal Carlo-style submachine gun.
In November 2015, then-defense minister Moshe Yaalon declared the Islamic Movement in Israel’s Northern Branch as an illegal group. The cell sought to violently respond to that ban.
The members of the cell knew each other from the al-Mashhadi supermarket.
Alomari ran the association “the Righteous Joseph” which deals with security prisoners and is connected to the Islamic Movement.
The Beersheba District Court wrote “all attempts to harm the security of the State of Israel and the safety of its soldiers must be matched with a clear and harsh punishment.”
It added that Alomari’s status as an Israeli citizen was an aggravating circumstance as it undermined the basic trust between citizens of the state.
Southern District state prosecutor Maasad Maasad noted that “the defendant was the main force behind the plot, and the sentencing reflects the severity of the actions for which he was convicted.”