Israel has arrested six Bedouin Arabs, including four teachers, for allegedly supporting the extremist Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the domestic security service said Monday.
The six men, all members of the same family, were relatives of two people who already travelled to Syria to fight alongside militants, Israeli media said.
Around 30 Arab Israelis have already made their way to Syria to fight for ISIS against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in the country’s more than four-year civil war, according to the authorities.
The men met “in secret to study the doctrine of Islamic State”, a statement from the Shin Bet intelligence agency said, adding they had intended to “spread the ideology of this group among their family and friends,” and that some had wanted to travel to Syria.
It did not give further details, including the date of their arrest.
Several Arab Israelis have been arrested after returning from Syria, and convicted for attempts to join Syrian rebels.
ISIS purportedly executed an Arab Israeli in March who had gone to join the group, accusing him of being an Israeli spy.
Arab Israelis number around 1.4 million, just over 20 percent of Israel’s population.
They are the descendents of the 160,000 Palestinian Arabs who remained on their land when the Jewish state was established in 1948.
Israel and Syria are technically still at war following their 1967 and 1973 conflicts.
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