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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Tel Aviv – Asharq Al-Awsat

Israel Changes Policy Towards ISIS, Hires 15,000 Personnel to Confront Threats

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Reuters

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett issued instructions to change the policy on dealing with ISIS terrorists to impose severe penalties on their activities and monitor their behavior and their accounts on social networks.

Bennett stepping up anti-ISIS measures follows two people being killed in a shooting attack in Hadera, the second attack linked to the militant group in Israel within a week.

Moreover, Tel Aviv issued a series of security decisions that included recruiting 15,000 individuals to its police and border guards’ apparatuses. The increase in personnel is meant to deter additional threats of terror attacks during Islam’s holy month of fasting, Ramadan.

“A second attack by ISIS supporters inside Israel requires the security forces to adapt quickly to the new threat,” said Bennett, adding that extremist elements of the Arab community in Israel are being directed by an extremist Islamic ideology to carry out terrorist operations that take human lives.

One of the two attackers who carried out the shooting Sunday had served a year and a half in an Israeli prison following a conviction for attempting to enter Syria to become an ISIS fighter.

Ibrahim Agbarieh, 29, from the Israeli town of Umm al-Fahm was arrested by Turkish police ahead of boarding a bus headed for the Syrian border. Apparently, information provided to Turkey by Israeli authorities led to the arrest.

The second assailant, Ayman Agbarieh, also from Umm al-Fahm, identified with ISIS. He was arrested by the Shin Bet security service in 2017 on suspicion of weapons violations but was released three weeks later without charges.

Two people were killed in the shooting, both of them 19-year-old members of the Border Police.

“My heart breaks for the death of Border Police members Shirel Abukarat and Yazan Falah, who died shielding civilians with their bodies from vile murderers,” a statement from Bennett said.

“I wish a speedy recovery to the wounded and send my deep condolences to the family.”

Five other people – a Border Police member and four civilians – are hospitalized at Hadera's Hillel Yaffeh Medical Center. The hospital said Monday that the Border Police officer is in very serious condition. Another person is in moderate condition, and the rest were slightly injured.

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