Diplomacy & defense

Israeli soldiers frisking Palestinians in Hebron
Recent poll found 89 percent of Palestinians believe IS is a radical group that doesn't represent true Islam

Israeli security forces have arrested three Arab Israelis accused of planning attacks inspired by the Islamic State group, including an arson attack on concert-goers, authorities said Thursday.

The suspects aged 20, 26 and 32 from the central town of Tayibe were arrested in September while planning to torch a stadium during a concert for the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday, the Shin Bet domestic security service said.

It said the suspects were inspired by IS jihadists and saw the concert as contrary to Islam.

The 20-year-old, Amir Jabara, had previously been questioned by police after being expelled from Turkey while attempting to travel to Syria.

Another suspect had planned to travel to Syria by paragliding from Israel, Shin Bet said.

Last year, an Arab Israeli was able to cross into Syria using a paraglider.

The three men had planned to hide weapons in preparation for attacks in Israel and transport them into the country from the occupied West Bank through a tunnel, it said.

Around 50 Arab Israelis are believed to have travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight with IS.

Arab Israelis are the descendants of Palestinians who remained on their land after the creation of Israel in 1948.

IS has not claimed any attacks in Israel, but two Palestinians who shot dead four Israelis at a popular Tel Aviv nightspot in June had drawn inspiration from the jihadist group.

Israeli security officials say such influence remains limited.

A recent poll found that 89 percent of Palestinians believe IS is a radical group that does not represent true Islam.

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