Jerusalem: Israel`s Shin Bet internal security service said on Thursday that it had arrest a hardline Islamist group in northern Israel that was suspected of plotting attacks on security personnel.
A Shin Bet statement said that five Arab men from the Galilee village of Daburiyya were suspected of planning to attack an Israeli police post, and a soldier and border policeman living in the village.
It said that their arrests earlier this month had prevented the suspected plot, which also included stealing the servicemen`s weapons.
Apart from the Druze community, Israel`s Arab citizens are not obliged to perform the military service which is compulsory for most Jews but some volunteer for the army or the paramilitary border police.
The Shin Bet said the men followed the Islamic fundamentalist principles of the Salafi movement and were suspected of believing in jihad, or holy war.
The Salafi movement, which is dominant in Saudi Arabia, believes most modern Muslims follow a corrupted version of Islam that should be abandoned in favour of the practices of the first three generations of Muslims, the Salaf.
The Shin Bet said that the five men arrested had been charged with "conspiracy to commit crime, conspiracy to set up a forbidden organisation, weapons offences and acts of violence."
Israel`s Arab citizens, who make up nearly 20 percent of the population, are Palestinians who remained in the Jewish state following the 1948 war that attended its creation along with their descendants.