The Shin Bet security service announced Monday that last month they arrested a Palestinian woman who was allegedly planning to commit a suicide attack in Tel Aviv using a belt fitted with explosives.
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Shin Belt officials say the members of the West Bank cell that planned the attack with her were in contact with an operative in the Gaza Strip who was to help them prepare the belt.
A statement issued by a Shin Bet spokesman said that a total of five Palestinians were arrested in October and November on suspicion of planning a terror attack against Israelis. The woman, Yasmin Sha'aban, is from the West Bank town of Jenin; the other four are from the village of Atil.
An improvised M-16 rifle, a hunting gun, ammunition and materials to be used in preparing the explosives belt were seized at the time of the arrests.
Sha'aban and another Palestinian, Manadel Takaz, were indicted for conspiring to cause death intentionally, and for membership and activity in an outlawed organization.
The Israel Defense Forces military prosecutor's office plans to indict the remaining suspects as well.
According to the Shin Bet, under questioning the five Palestinians admitted they had been planning a suicide attack in which Sha'aban, disguised as a pregnant Jewish woman, would wear — and detonate — the explosives belt.
Sha'aban was to try to obtain an entry permit into Israel for medical reasons.
Shin Bet officials added that the cell had planned to use an apartment inside Israeli territory that is used by illegal residents as their base in the attack.
The officials also noted that the five suspects confessed to planning the suicide attack along with other crimes – such as shooting attacks and planting a bomb on a bus carrying soldiers – and that the five said that once the attack had been carried out, both Hamas and Islamic Jihad would take responsibility for it.
“The arrests, which prevented a suicide attack by a woman from taking place inside Israel, are evidence of the high motivation among terrorist operatives to engage in attacks, with emphasis on the period of time following [this summer's] Operation Protective Edge," said Shin Bet sources.
"The investigation also shows clearly that terrorists in the Gaza Strip are instructing terrorists in Samaria in the preparation of weapons and the planning of terror attacks,” they added.