Unarmed Palestinian indicted for 'planning Israeli warship kidnap attack'

Unarmed Palestinian indicted for 'planning kidnap attack on Israeli warship'
2 min read
04 April, 2018
Amin Sa'adi Juma'a stands accused of planning a multi-boat attack on warships guarding Gaza's seas, including the kidnap of Israeli soldiers, despite being unarmed at the time of arrest.
Israeli warships patrol the coast off Gaza [Getty]
An indictment was filed against Gaza resident Amin Sa'adi Juma'a on Wednesday morning, who Israeli authorities accuse of planning to carry out an attack against an Israeli warship including kidnapping Israeli soldiers, Arab 48 reported.

Juma'a, who Israel claim is a member of the Islamic Jihad group, was arrested at sea along with nine others on March 12, when Israeli authorities "intercepted" a boat it says "breached" the Israeli-designated Gaza fishing zone.

The detainees were interrogated and subsequently released, apart from Juma'a, despite being unarmed at the time of his arrest.

According to Israeli security agency Shin Bet, 24-year-old Juma'a was an Islamic Jihad-affiliated "activist", working for its leadership in Rafah and was planning an attack against the Israeli navy when he was arrested.
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Shin Bet claim that the planned attack would use multiple boats to confuse navy officers. When the ship would approach the first boat, another boat would attack it using Kornet anti-tank missiles, at which point a third boat would attack the ship and attempt to kidnap Israeli officers.

The kidnapped officers would then be exchanged for Palestinian prisoners, Shin Bet claims.

According to Haaretz, the indictment is based on witness statements and Juma'a's confession.

Following Shin Bet's announcement, Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said, "The challenges at the Gaza border are diverse and complex. The Israeli people have someone to rely on. I hope that this time, our friends on the Left will not demand an investigative committee."
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The right-wing politician has been a loud voice in the rejection of an independent investigation into the shootings of peaceful Palestinian protestors on Friday that amounted in 17 deaths and over 1,600 injuries.

The Israeli navy imposes a severe blockade on Gaza's seas, allowing fishermen to sail a maximum of six to nine nautical miles off the coast. 

Israeli forces have shot and killed dozens of fishermen who have strayed out of the zone or aroused the slightest suspicion while at sea in recent years.