Suspects - Shin Bet - 2.4.12
Pictures of the suspects. Photo by Shin Bet
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Tomer Appelbaum
A Red Crescent ambulance at an IDF checkpoint near Beit El. Photo by Tomer Appelbaum

Thirteen residents of the Amari refugee camp near the West Bank city of Ramallah were arrested recently for alleged involvement in an attempted attack on Israel Defense Forces soldiers two months ago, the Shin Bet security service said Monday.

The suspects include employees of the Palestinian Red Crescent, a member of the Palestinian Olympic soccer team and an officer in the Palestinian General Intelligence Service.

The incident in question occurred on January 20, when shots were fired at IDF forces operating in Ramallah. No one was wounded in the attack, but one IDF vehicle sustained damage.

The suspects named in the attack included Salah Barael, 23, who works as a guard for the Red Crescent and Omar Abu Rwayyis, also 23, who also works for the Red Crescent. According to the Shin Bet, Abu Rwayyis is affiliated with Hamas and is also a goalkeeper on the Palestinian Olympic soccer team.

According to the Shin Bet, the suspects shot at IDF forces using Kalashnikovs, then hid the weapons in an abandoned building. Later, Abu Rwayyis allegedly handed off the guns to another resident of the camp, Ahmed Hattab, who is also employed by the Red Crescent.

After Abu Rwayyis was arrested, Hattab gave the guns to another man, Mansour Abbas, who serves as an officer in the Palestinian General Intelligence Service in Ramallah and is responsible for the guards at the Red Crescent. The Shin Bet also suspects Hattab of dealing in arms.

According to the Shin Bet, the suspects' interrogations revealed additional plans for shooting attacks on IDF forces in West Bank cities and checkpoints.

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