Major Haifa Attack Thwarted After Hezbollah Family Arrested

October 7, 2016

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Seven members of one family from the Golan Heights village of Ghajar were arrested Thursday and charged with collaborating with Hezbollah to carry out a major terror attack in Haifa.

The suspects are Adel Aoinat, 29, Mohsin Khmoz, 21, Diab Khmoz, 31, Mamdouh Ibrahim, 21, Jamil Khmoz, 29, Yusef Khmoz, 34, all of Ghajar, and Maher Hirbawi, 29 from Yarka.

Israel Police and the Shin Bet security agency said the group is part of a Lebanon-to-Israel drug smuggling network.

The suspects have been charged with smuggling explosive devices with the assistance of a family member on the Lebanese side of the border who served as a liaison with Hezbollah.

The investigation into the network began in late July after an Israeli farmer discovered a bag containing two explosive devices in an open pasture near the city of Metulla. The bag was transferred to the police and the Shin Bet, who subsequently found signs that the devices had been transported across Israel’s border with Lebanon by Hezbollah.

The suspects are facing charges on espionage, aiding an enemy in wartime, illegal involvement in the production and transportation of weapons, contacting foreign agents as well as smuggling drugs.  One suspect, Maher Hirbawi, has only been charged with smuggling drugs.

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