Israeli police and the Shin Bet internal security service Thursday said they had arrested a Palestinian alleged ISIS supporter accused of two deadly knife attacks in the past three years.
Wassim Isaid, 34, from Hebron in the occupied West Bank, has been held since last month and a prosecutor’s statement was filed against him Thursday, with an indictment expected soon, the police and Shin Bet said in a joint statement.
The security services charged that his alleged crimes “stemmed from his support for the ideology of ISIS, to which he had previously sworn allegiance.”
The police and Shin Bet said their case against Isaid meant that they had solved two murder cases and another case of attempted murder.
The latest was the killing of Moldovan citizen Ivan Tarnovsky and the serious wounding of a compatriot in their Jerusalem home on March 21 this year.
Previously, an Israeli couple, Yehuda and Tamar Kaduri, were killed in their Jerusalem home on January 13, 2019.
Isaid was further accused of a knife attack that wounded an Israeli teenager in the same city on January 12, 2019.
Hours after allegedly killing Tarnovsky, the suspect was arrested by border police while trying to cross a fence that is part of the separation barrier with the West Bank, the statement said.
At the time “a knife was seized in the suspect’s possession,” and the investigation has since then “linked the terrorist to the attacks.”
Isaid has previously been imprisoned by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority since 2015.
He was jailed by Israel for “activity in an ISIS network” which planned attacks and he later spent time in administrative detention for “incitement and membership in a hostile organization,” according to the statement.
The timeline provided by police said the suspect committed the attacks during brief gaps when he was out of custody.
Only relatively small numbers of Palestinians joined ISIS before the group’s final territorial defeat in Syria in 2019, but Israel has recently suffered attacks by local ISIS supporters.
Israel has suffered two deadly attacks which were claimed or inspired by ISIS in recent weeks.
In March, two Israeli-Arab gunmen identified by Israeli intelligence as ISIS operatives killed two police officers in the city of Hadera.
And in an earlier attack in southern Israel, four people were killed in a stabbing and car-ramming rampage by an Israeli Arab previously imprisoned for trying to join ISIS in Syria.