Nazareth District Court has accepted a request by Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon to place a 19-year-old Arab Israeli woman under administrative detention, after she expressed her intention to become a "martyr" on social media.
The woman, a resident of northern Israel who cannot be named for legal reasons, can now be held for three months without charge. Yaalon made the request on Tuesday, after concerned family members reported her to police for sending messages on the "Viber" social media app to her sister and several friends, telling them she intended to become a "martyr" imminently.
Friends also alerted police to a number of worrying Facebook posts by would-be terrorist, including one which stated: "To die a martyr… Forgiveness after death… Mercy on the day of judgment… Protection from torture (in hell)… To merit Paradise."
The message the suspect sent to her relatives essentially parroted the propaganda and incitement regularly peddled by Islamist extremist groups.
"My beloved family. I have seen sons and daughters who became martyrs [by carrying out terrorist attacks – ed.] for the sake of Al Quds [Jerusalem] and the land, and I was surprised by their love and the motive which caused them to do this, and today when I was certain and I knew what it is to be a martyr for the sake of Al Aqsa [Temple Mount] and Palestine, I very much desire to be a martyr, and today I am informing you of that – that I wish to struggle and fight in order to be a martyr for Jerusalem.
"I want to die next to God and under the wings of the martyrs," she continued. "I want to raise the flag of freedom of the land on my grave; I want to be freed from the shackles of my mind and my pleasure…"
"I don't know when I will leave (to die), I don't know what is expected of me, but if I merit to be (a martyr) remember, don't forget me, and pray for me."
Upon arresting and interrogating the suspect prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence to formally charge her, but given the current security situation and the fact that many terrorists preceded their attacks with precisely the same kind of posts – as well as investigators' estimation that she intended to carry out an attack imminently – the Defense Minister ordered her held "for the public's safety."
It is the first such administrative detention of an Israeli Arab since the start of the recent wave of terrorism, which has seen a number of Arab citizens of Israel take part in violent attacks against Israeli Jews, in addition to scores of similar terrorist attacks by Arab residents of the Palestinian Authority.
Most other administrative detainees are Palestinian Arab terrorists deemed to be an "imminent threat," although several radical Jewish activists were recently placed under administrative detention following a deadly firebombing at a Palestinian village – though the three are not believed connected to the attack.