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Parents deny sons planned to assassinate Israeli FM

Nov. 24, 2014 3:23 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 26, 2014 9:35 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The father of two Palestinian men accused of plotting to kill Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Sunday said the claims by Israeli security forces were "inconceivable."

Salim el-Zir, 65, told Ma'an that his sons Ibrahim, 39, and Ziad, 37, were detained in October by Israeli forces.

"These are big and inconceivable accusations. My son Ibrahim, who was detained early in October, and Ziad, who was detained 28 days later, were busy trying to provide subsistence for their eight children," el-Zir said.

"I don't know how the Israeli occupation claims they planned an assassination to be carried out last summer and the Israeli intelligence detains them months later."

El-Zir said Israel is trying to improve the public image of Lieberman and claimed that even the lawyer representing his sons is unaware of the accusations against them as published in Israeli media.

The suspects' mother said her son Ziad was a taxi driver who worked from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. and did not have any political affiliations.

Her other son, Ibrahim, had been detained several times in the past but that does not justify the accusations leveled at him, she added.

Both parents urged the Palestinian Authority and rights groups to intervene and stop what they claimed were "lies and exaggeration" against their sons.

Last Thursday, Israel's Shin Bet domestic security service said that security forces had caught a Hamas group in the West Bank planning to assassinate far-right Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

It said that during Israel's July-August war in Gaza Ibrahim el-Zir "began to formulate a plan to carry out an attack on the motorcade of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, with the intention that the attack would send a message to Israel and bring a stop to the war in Gaza."

It said that "in recent days" the suspects were charged in a West Bank Israeli military court with conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to traffic in weapons.
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