Israel Security Director: Iran Trying to Form Fifth Column in Israel

(Maariv International) Arik Bender - Israel Security Agency (ISA) Director Avi Dichter told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Tuesday that "Iran is trying to form a fifth column among Israeli Arabs" and "is trying to reach Israel Arabs through Hizballah." He reported that 12 Israeli Arabs have been arrested since the beginning of this year on suspicion of involvement in terrorist activities. Two were recruited by Hizballah, seven by Palestinian terror organizations, and three operated independently. Since the beginning of the violence, he reported, an average of 45-50 Israeli Arabs have been arrested each year on suspicion of involvement in terror. Dichter called Palestinian-controlled territory "an asylum for terrorists." He also noted that Palestinians were planning to smuggle anti-aircraft weaponry into Gaza. He said dozens of mortars, two tons of explosives, 330 anti-tank weapons, and 4,900 Kalashnikov rifles and machine guns had been smuggled into Gaza over the past year and a half. See also Iran Building 5th Column - Nina Gilbert (Jerusalem Post) Dichter termed Hamas a "front for Iran," and the Islamic Jihad as an "entirely Iranian organization." The majority of the Tanzim cells in the West Bank serve as the basis of the Iranian infrastructure in the area and receive money and arms. Despite fears of the rise of Hamas in Gaza, Dichter said that Fatah is the "domineering force," has the majority support there, and that Hamas has "no chance" to take over.

2004-07-21 00:00:00

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