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Iran trying to form fifth column in Israel


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Dichter says Iran trying to form fifth column in Israel

ISA director warns: More Israeli Arabs involved in terror, Iran supporting Hezbollah. Says Palestinian Authority systems have collapsed.

Arik Bender

Speaking before the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Tuesday, Israel Security Agency (ISA) Director Avi Dichter pointed to the increased involvement of Israeli-Arabs in terror. According to Dichter, "Iran is trying to form a fifth column among Israeli-Arabs".

He reported that 12 Israeli-Arabs have been arrested since the beginning of this year on suspicion of involvement in terrorist activities. Two, he said, were recruited by Hezbollah, seven by Palestinian terror organizations, and three operated independently.

"This is definitely a disturbing phenomenon", said Dichter. "The involvement is much deeper than what we knew previously". Since the beginning of the Intifada, he reported, an average of 45-50 Israeli Arabs have been arrested each year on suspicion of involvement in terror.

"Iran", said Dichter, "is trying to reach Israeli Arabs through Hezbollah. Iran's assistance is state-supported, and they are providing terrorist organizations with financial backing and weapons. They are also helping them to organize and recruit terrorists".

Dichter also spoke about the current situation in the Palestinian Authority: "The PA systems have collapsed, and it is receiving economic life support from Israel and Egypt. Its annual budget is $1 billion, 45% of which is provided by Israel".

Dichter termed the PA budget "distorted", with 9% being used to fund Yasser Arafat's office, which employs only about 320 people. Only 6% of the total budget, on the other hand, is allocated for Palestinian health services.

"An asylum for terrorists" was Dichter's term for Palestinian-controlled territory. He said the PA was doing nothing to curb terror, and that there was no chance of a terrorist being arrested or punished in these territories. "That scenario is totally non-existent", he said.

The ISA director also noted that Palestinians were planning to smuggle anti-aircraft weaponry into Gaza. He cited figures indicating that dozens of mortars, two tons of explosives, 330 anti-tank weapons (including launchers and shells), 4,900 Kalashnikov rifles, machine guns, and tens of thousands of rifle bullets had been smuggled into Gaza over the past year and a half.


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Fifth column?

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"Fifth column stands for any clandestine group of people which works inside a nation to undermine its strength, while at the same time the nation suffers a direct attack from a foreign power.

The term was coined by Gen. Mola during the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939). As a Nationalist general, he sent four of his army columns to capture Madrid, which was being defended at the time by the Republican forces. The general referred to his hidden supporters inside the capital as his fifth column. "

From wikipedia.

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