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Sat Dec 26, 2015 9:45AM
Carmi Gillon, a former acting director of Shin Bet, the Israeli internal spy service (file photo)
Carmi Gillon, a former acting director of Shin Bet, the Israeli internal spy service (file photo)

A former head of the Israeli internal spy organization says an “underground” entity comprising Israeli extremists “aims to destroy” Israel.

Carmi Gillon, who was Shin Bet’s acting director in 1994 after attending senior positions in the Israeli internal spy service for more than a decade, made the remarks in an interview with Israel’s Channel 2.

He said the underground entity grouped young religious far-right extremists mainly from illegal settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Gillon said the threat posed by the group, which he called “a professional underground in every regard,” had reached unprecedented levels.

“We’re at a worse point than before the assassination of Rabin,” Gillon said, referring to former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated by Israeli religious extremist Yigal Amir in 1994.

Among the group’s members, he said, were the Israelis currently in detention for their suspected involvement in a deadly July arson attack in which Palestinian baby boy Ali Dawabsheh lost his life.

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A picture taken on July 31, 2015 shows a man holding a picture of 18-month-old Palestinian toddler Ali Dawabsheh, who died when his family house was set on fire by Israeli settlers in the village of Duma, southeast of Nablus. (Photo by AFP)

The incident involved Israeli settlers throwing firebombs and Molotov cocktails into two Palestinian houses in the town of Duma, located 25 kilometers (15 miles) southeast of Nablus in the West Bank. The toddler’s father, Sa’ad Dawabsheh, and his mother Riham Dawabsheh, later died of injuries sustained in the incident.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has denounced the incident as a “terrorist act,” calling for the perpetrators to be promptly brought to justice.