Last updated: 5 January, 2012

Israeli Arabs arrested for allegedly aiding Hamas

Israeli security authorities have arrested two Arab Israelis for allegedly abetting Palestinian militant movement Hamas, police told AFP on Thursday.

Spokeswoman Luba Samri said, following the lifting of a court-imposed gag order, that police and the Shin Bet internal security service last month arrested brothers Mohammed and Amir Asaad, from the village of Kfar Kana, near Nazareth.

“They are suspected of joining the Hamas infrastructure (in the West Bank) and of contacts with Hamas personnel who were planning to execute attacks (in the West Bank) and in Israel,” she said.

“They were charged this morning at the Nazareth district court,” she added.

Israel’s Arab citizens, who make up about 20 percent of the population, are Palestinians who remained in the Jewish state following the 1948 war that attended its creation, along with their descendants.

Kfar Kana is the Cana of Galilee, where the New Testament says Jesus transformed six jars of water into wine at a wedding.