(RepublicanInformer.com)- According to Israeli defense officials, there are an estimated 200 Israeli Arabs who identify with the Islamic State and it is believed that 20 of those might be planning to carry out attacks in Israel.
In an intelligence assessment briefing with politicians on Sunday, defense officials outlined their large-scale intelligence efforts to monitor social media and take steps in identifying potential suspects.
To date, six Israeli Arabs who identify with ISIS have been served with orders that restrict their movement. Defense officials explained that another round of similar orders is currently awaiting judicial approval.
Additionally, defense officials said another few dozen Israeli Arabs have left to join ISIS in Syria, Iraq, or Sinai. If any of those identified attempt to return to Israel, they will be arrested. Some of them have already been killed while fighting for ISIS.
Defense officials also believe the videos that were posted on social media from the scene of recent terror attacks have been prompting others to launch copycat attacks. To prevent these videos from circulating on social media, officials have asked the Israeli government to consider enacting a law that would forbid Israeli citizens from posting such videos. Israel currently has a similar law banning the posting of content associated with pedophilia.
While defense officials say their objective during Ramadan is to thwart any potential attacks, they emphasized that, to temper growing tensions, they want to avoid flooding the West Bank with soldiers or conducting daytime operations.
In their overall assessment, defense officials believe most Palestinians should be permitted to celebrate Ramadan as usual without adding measures that would make it more difficult or impede their ability to make a living.
Defense officials stressed that most Palestinians don’t identify with Islamic State. They also noted that Palestinian workers even harshly criticized the Palestinian gunman who committed last week’s attack in Bnei Brak that left five people dead even though that shooter was not associated with ISIS. Officials said Palestinians criticized the attacker because he severely harmed the livelihoods of the thousands of Palestinians on the eve of Ramadan.