Several members of the fringe anti-Zionist ultra-Orthodox sect Neturei Karta entered Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank on Monday and met with Palestinians from local terror groups
According to Hebrew and Arabic-language reports, the Neturei Karta members met with prominent Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group officials as well as families of terrorist attackers. The Jenin camp is seen as a hotbed of Palestinian terrorism.
Neturei Karta opposes the modern State of Israel on religious grounds, regularly protesting against the Jewish state, and has met with Holocaust deniers and leaders of the Iranian government in the past.
Two of the Neturei Karta members were photographed wearing scarves with Palestinian national colors and carrying Palestinian flags.
Video shared on social media showed them visiting the home of senior PIJ official senior official Bassam al-Saadi, who is in jail in Israel. Saadi’s detention last year sparked a round of fighting between Israel and the Gaza Strip.
Another video showed the pair at the entrance to the Jenin refugee camp along with former terror inmate Maher al-Akhras who is also tied to PIJ, the Kan public broadcaster reported.
Akhras, who in 2020 went on hunger strike for over 100 days to protest his detention by Israeli authorities, is seen praising the two visitors for not recognizing the Sate of Israel.
Channel 12 news reported that although local gunmen tried to harm the delegation, they were prevented from doing so.
Saadi, 61, has been jailed by Israel seven times over the years, according to the Shin Bet.
He was arrested on August 1 by Israeli troops in Jenin. The PIJ at the time announced it was declaring a state of alert, and the Israel Defense Forces said it had “concrete” indications of an “imminent” attack on the Gaza border, putting the area on lockdown for several days.
Three days later the IDF launched a series of airstrikes in Gaza against a senior PIJ commander and several anti-tank guided missile squads, which prompted rocket fire from the Strip. After nearly three days of fighting a ceasefire agreement was signed, which reportedly included “Egypt’s commitment to work towards the release of” Saadi and another Palestinian detainee, Khalil Awawdeh, a terror group spokesperson said at the time.
The Shin Bet has said that in the months before his arrest Saadi “worked even harder to restore PIJ activities, in which he was behind the creation of a significant military force of the organization in Samaria in general and in Jenin in particular,” referring to the northern West Bank.
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