In early November 2002, the ISA arrested Ahmed Rageh Ahmed Aviti,

In early November 2002, the ISA arrested Ahmed Rageh Ahmed Aviti, approximately 40, who came to the Gaza Strip from Lebanon along with other Palestinian Authority personnel in 1994. In 1999, Aviti received permission to being his wife and children from Lebanon to his home in the Gaza Strip. Aviti works as an aeronautical engineer at the Deihaniye airport in the Gaza strip. Aviti admitted to his ISA investigators that on 24.2.2001 he left to perform the Haj in Mecca as part of an official delegation from the Gaza Strip. During his stay in Saudi Arabia, Aviti met with a Hizballah militant who recruited him as an agent for the organization in the Gaza Strip in order to conduct terrorist actions against Israel. The militant claimed that Hizballah was interested in assisting the Palestinians in their fight against Israel. It should be pointed out that the terrorist organizations in general, and Hizballah in particular, are exploiting the departure of Palestinians – with the approval of the state of Israel – on the Haj to Mecca in order to recruit agents against Israel. Aviti added that he had been questioned by the Hizballah militant and gave him information on IDF actions in the Gaza Strip. Aviti noted that he had been nicknamed “Ili” and had been given a telephone number in Lebanon of a Hizballah militant nicknamed “Rimon” along with instructions to contact him when he returned to Israel. On 16.3.2002, Aviti returned to the Gaza Strip and made telephone contact with “Rimon,” his Hizballah operative. Aviti was asked to leave for Lebanon, apparently for military training and to receive orders for missions against Israel. Before arriving in Lebanon, Aviti traveled to Jordan under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority to study to become a pilot. Aviti noted that several of his communications with Hizballah occurred from his office at the Palestinian airport at Deihaniye. Aviti claims that his connections with Hizballah ceased in May 2002; however, on 9.10.2002, he again left for Lebanon. On his return to Israel he was arrested by ISA officials. Aviti added that before his arrival in the Gaza Strip in 1994, he underwent military training in the framework of the Fatah organization. Aviti used the skills he acquired to train Hamas terrorists and worked to improve the capabilities of the “Al Banah” missile. In addition Aviti aided the Palestinian Authority in its preparations for conflict with Israeli forces, including supervising bodies in the Palestinian Authority in digging tunnels between built-up areas, armored combat and activating bombs etc. Ahmed Aviti has been indicted. This event is one of a long list of attempts by the Hizballah to infiltrate Israel and the territories by any means in order to increase terrorist activity against Israel.