Israeli Bedouin Indicted for Joining Hamas, Attempting to Reenter Israel

By Yoni Weiss

Juma Ibrahim Abu Ghanima, a 26-year-old Bedouin Israeli resident of Hashem Zana in the northern Negev, was arrested after attempting to cross back into Israel from the Gaza Strip. The Justice Ministry revealed that Abu Ghanima, who infiltrated Gaza in 2016 and joined the Hamas terror group, was detained by IDF troops in December.

According to the charge sheet, Abu Ghanima secretly entered Gaza in July 2016 and sought to join Hamas’s military wing after meeting with a Hamas terrorist. During his time in Gaza, he provided sensitive information about IDF bases in southern Israel to Hamas officials.

While in Gaza, Abu Ghanima underwent military training with Hamas, including advanced training with the terror group’s elite Nukhba force. The training involved simulations of attacks on Israeli towns and the capture of army posts. Additionally, he conducted surveillance operations along the Gaza border and met with high-ranking Hamas officials.

The indictment accuses Abu Ghanima of various activities, including participating in shooting attacks on the border, engaging in espionage activities upon returning to Israel, and recruiting for Hamas. Furthermore, he allegedly joined a criminal gang in Israel to further Hamas’s objectives.

After being imprisoned by Hamas in 2021 for “failure to comply with limitations,” Abu Ghanima attempted to reenter Israel following IDF strikes near the prison in December 2023. He now faces charges of serious security offenses, including aiding the enemy in its war against Israel, providing sensitive information to the enemy, membership in a terrorist organization, training for terror purposes, and leaving the country illegally.

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