Four Golan Druze Accused of Plotting to Kidnap IDF Soldier

A charge of plotting to kidnap an Israel Defense Forces soldier was filed yesterday morning against four Druze residents of the Golan Heights village of Bukata. The men are also accused of planning to transfer the soldier to Hezbollah in Syria to serve as a bargaining chip for the release of Palestinian prisoners.

Wiam Amasha, 22, and Sharm Shamas, 21, the prime suspects, served a jail sentence together at the Shatta prison. Amasha is still in prison for trying to dismantle a mine and prepare an explosive device from it. Shamas was released in August 2002.

Following his release from prison, Shamas maintained contact with Amasha by telephone. Amasha gave him instructions on how to kidnap the soldier, and a telephone number of a Palestinian named Ishak. Shamas spoke to Ishak several times and was under the impression that he was a Hamas member. He also met in Nazareth with Palestinians sent by Ishak, who gave him detailed instructions on how to carry out the kidnapping.

According to the indictments, Shamas contacted two youths from Bukata - Abbas Amasha and Camal Abe Aluli - and asked them to help him hide one of the letters he had received from the Palestinians that included the kidnapping instructions.

The Nazareth District Court was asked by the prosecution to extend the remand of the four suspects until the end of the proceedings, saying that Shamas, Abbas Amasha and Abd Aluli had admitted to the charges against them and had incriminated Wiam Amasha.