Breaking News: Suspect Detained in Morocco in Connection to Nazareth Health Ministry Explosion
A suspect in the November 2021 bombing of a Health Ministry office in the northern city of Nazareth has reportedly been apprehended in Morocco, where he is detained pending the outcome of an Israeli extradition request.
According to a report published on Sunday by the Walla news site, Nassim Kalibat was detained in January in connection with the Nazareth incident.
Following a joint investigation by the police and Shin Bet security service, Kalibat’s brother-in-law Ja’afar Fakhoury and his brother Ali Kalibat were detained in Israel in March 2022 for their alleged roles as collaborators in the explosion.
It is said that Kalibat left Israel the day after his brother-in-law was detained.
The three are accused of planting an explosive device at the Nazareth office and remotely detonating it to destroy it without injuring anyone.
Security officials at first thought the explosion had something to do with threats made against senior health officials because they had previously supported immunisation of children against COVID. Additionally, they did not rule out a terrorist motive, which prompted the Shin Bet to join the investigation.
But later criminal charges brought against Kalibat’s family claimed that they had been employed by a criminal gang to intimidate and dissuade it from meddling in its food-related businesses.
According to Walla, the Justice Ministry requested Kalibat’s extradition in February. The extradition request was reportedly granted by a local Moroccan judge, but the Justice Ministry has not yet approved it.
This is the first extradition request that Jerusalem has made of the North African nation since their diplomatic ties were restored about three years ago. Israel and Morocco do not currently have an extradition agreement.
In accordance with the Abraham Accords, Morocco and Israel signed a normalisation agreement establishing full diplomatic relations in December 2020.