JERUSALEM (JTA) – Six Bedouin-Israelis, four of them teachers, were indicted for their support of the Islamic State jihadist group.
Several of the men, from the Negev town of Hura, planned to join and fight with ISIS in Syria, Israel’s Shin Bet security service said in a statement Monday. The arrests took place over the last two months.
The teachers, from elementary school and high school, were accused of promoting the Islamic State’s jihadist ideology in their classes, the Shin Bet said.
The charges include distribution of an illegal organization’s materials, support for a terrorist organization, and conspiracy to commit a crime.
A principal and several fellow teachers who were questioned denied that they knew about the teachers’ sympathies and activities.
A hearing with Education Ministry officials reportedly is scheduled to revoke the teaching licenses of the indicted men.
The Islamic State was named an illegal terrorist organization by Israel’s Defense Ministry in 2014.
The teachers’ preaching in classrooms on behalf of ISIS “is a cynical exploitation of their duties and a violation of the trust given to them by the education system and by parents and students,” the Shin Bet said in the statement.