Tel Aviv, Oct 1 (IANS) Israel has arrested seven Arab Israelis who allegedly planned attacks against the military and police, the Shin Bet security agency said on Thursday.
They are also suspected of being members of the Islamic State (IS), a Shin Bet statement said.
The seven suspects, living in Nazareth in northern Israel, are believed to have planned shooting and firebomb attacks against local police and military forces, as well as contacting a Syrian agent, Xinhua news agency quoted the statement as saying.
The agency said four of the seven suspects contacted another Arab Israeli in Syria fighting for IS who directed them on how to carry out the attacks.
The suspects gathered intelligence information about the movements and deployment of Israeli forces in northern Israel, and were captured when a gun they used at a shooting range made its way to the authorities, Shin Bet said.
Arab Israelis who remained in Israel after its foundation in 1948, became citizens and constitute nearly 20 percent of the population.
Shin Bet said the suspects confessed to their crime, but their lawyers said that the suspects were interrogated under difficult conditions, adding that they are studying the case and will respond in due time in court.
Dozens of Arab Israelis were recently indicted for attempting to leave Israel to join the IS in Syria. However, this is the first time that a group operates within Israel in association with the IS.