20 questioned over plan to smuggle arms into West Bank, Al-Jazeera reports; crackdown coincides with Shin Bet exposure of Hamas cell.
By Elhanan Miller|The Times of Israel
Jordanian security forces arrested 20 men on suspicion of forming a military wing and planning to smuggle arms into the West Bank to be used in terror attacks against Israelis, an Arab news channel reported this week.
The men, all members of the Muslim Brotherhood or Jordan’s engineers’ guild, were arrested after two of the 20 returned from a solidarity visit to the Gaza Strip where they received military training, according to Qatar-based al-Jazeera.
The satellite channel reported Sunday that the men attempted to train others in military operations to be carried out against Israelis in the West Bank.
They also collected money for the purchase of weapons to be smuggled into the West Bank, or bought in the Palestinian territory.
It was not clear from the report when the 20 were arrested.
The arrests come as tensions between the Jordanian regime and the Islamist organization peaked last month, when the Muslim Brotherhood’s deputy secretary-general Zaki Bani Irsheid was arrested on November 21 over derogatory comments he posted on Facebook against the United Arab Emirates.