Two Arab citizens of Israel who planned to bomb the Eilat Rio Hotel were arrested. Alertness of hotel staff led them to report suspicious behaviour of the two to the police who investigated and found a basis for arrest.
The announcement was released 90 minutes ago (about 7 am Eastern Time, 2 pm Jerusalem time).
The terrorists, Halil Nimari and Asraf Salaima, decided about one month ago to kill Jews. Nimari wanted revenge for a childhood friend who was killed by Israeli forces on October 4, 2015 in the midst of stabbing a Jew in Jerusalem. Salaima wanted to get back at Israel for the current situation. Nimari suggested they stab a religious Jew in Jerusalem but Salaima argued that this would merely result in their own deaths and not have much significance in the overall picture. He proposed the idea of setting off a bomb in a hotel in Eilat and when Nimari agreed, they set about to prepare for the act.
They moved to Eilat and had jobs in that city.
One of them studied how to make bombs by watching youtube videos. Then Salaima went to the Rio Hotel on November 30, 2015 to observe activities at the hotel, paying special attention to a group of religious Jews. He spoke to reception and expressed interest in staying at the hotel for a period of time, asking to see a number of rooms. He was most interested in a room that was directly under the dining room, with the intention of putting a bomb there. He asked questions that raised the suspicions of the reception and service staff, concerning issues such as: number of entrances to the hotel, current occupancy rate, whether or not a group of religious Jews is expected to arrive soon, and more.
Shabak and the Criminal Investigation Unit of southern Israel, together with Eilat police, investigated the report and arrested the men. Charges of conspiracy and aiding an enemy were laid in Beersheva court.
Feature Image Credit: Gal Gubesi (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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