Shin Bet Thwarts Terrorist Attack, Arrests 11 Palestinians

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Explosives found in the raid

Eleven Palestinians from the West Bank have been arrested on suspicion of attempting to carry out an attack on Israeli troops in the Hebron area and planning other attacks on Israelis, the Shin Bet security service announced Monday.

The Palestinians are from the Hebron area and are affiliated with Hamas, security forces said, adding that explosives and guns intended for use in the attacks were also found.

"The activity of this cell reflects the substantial threat from Hamas activity in Hebron, especially from militant operatives who have been arrested in the past and returning to the circle of terror," the Shin Bet said in a statement.

One of the suspects – Salem Saltan, 28 – has been held in an Israeli military jail and in administrative detention.

The Israel Prison Service and Shin Bet said Saltan and his cousin Zohaib Saltan, 20, told investigators they were planning to attack Israeli soldiers in the Tel Rumeida area of Hebron late last year by throwing an explosive at troops to draw them to a larger explosive. Security officials said the cousins prepared the explosives but they didn't work as planned.

The Shin Bet said the suspects, who were arrested in January, were planning to carry out other attacks as well, including in Hebron and Jerusalem, and some had agreed to be suicide bombers.

The suspects are expected to be indicted in a military tribunal.

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