Israel’s Shin Bet security service has detained an Israeli Jew on suspicions that he helped Palestinian terrorists plan a suicide bombing that killed five Israelis last month, the organization said on Tuesday, marking the first time a Jew has been suspected of terrorism in the country.
Kfir Levy, a 25-year-old Jewish resident of the town of Ramat Gan, is suspected to have driven a Palestinian suicide bomber who killed five Israelis last month past a West Bank checkpoint into Israel, Shin Bet officials said.
He is charged with manslaughter, as are A-Rahman Abu Muh from the town of Abu al-Garbiyah and Seif Azzam from the Arab-Israeli town of Taybeh. All suspects say they didn’t know they had aided a terrorist.
Israeli forces killed last week an Islamic Jihad terrorist who was also suspected of involvement in the bombing during a raid on his house in the West Bank town of Tulkarm.
Islamic Jihad is sworn to Israel’s destruction and has killed hundreds of Israelis for more than four years.
Security forces also detained a Palestinian resident of the village of Ilar, near Tulkarm, who is also suspected of helping the terrorist who carried out the bombing.
A Shin Bet investigation revealed that Levy and Azzam had driven illegal Palestinian workers into Israel in recent months. Among one group was the bomber, 18-year-old Ahmed Jaway from the West Bank village of Atil and his fixer, Atef Zaharan, an Ilar resident.
Shin Bet officials suspect that Levy and Azzam knew thieves, not laborers, had been among the group that day.
The Shin Bet said they told investigators that they had driven two residents of Taybeh through an army roadblock near Tulkarm. Levy had managed to bypass the thick security at the checkpoint by using his Jewish identity card.
Abu Muh, a 24-year-old resident of the Israeli Arab town of Baka al-Gharbiya, said in his interrogation that he had driven the suicide bomber and his fixer to the city of Netanya, where the bomber had later detonated his explosives belt and killed five Israelis.
All suspects say they were not aware they had aided terrorists.
Zaharan told investigators that a month before the bombing, he had agreed to an offer made by Islamic Jihad terrorist Nidal Abu Saadeh, where he would help a suicide bomber infiltrate into Israel for USD 10,000.
Palestinians had said at the time that Abu Saadeh had been under arrest at the time on charges of involvement in a suicide bombing at a nightclub in Tel Aviv in February that killed five people, but that he had continued to plan anti-Israeli attacks despite his detainment.
Abu Saadeh had given Zaharan a fake identification card in order to minimize the chances of him being stopped before the bombing was carried out, as well as a black briefcase that held another container that contained explosives.