Five residents of East Jerusalem were indicted yesterday for establishing a terror cell, and planning to kidnap a Jew and carry out terror attacks in the area of the Temple Mount and Western Wall.
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According to the indictment by the Jerusalem Prosecutor's office, the leader of the ring, Nur Hamdan, decided to create the cell two months ago. He then contacted West Bank activists of Iz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades and al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades in order to receive arms and training. He then recruited the other four defendants.
In February, the cell made an attempt to snatch weapons from police stationed in the Armon Hanatsiv promenade in southeast Jerusalem. The cell members were equipped with pepper spray canisters, but decided to halt the operation when they were noticed by the policemen.
In early March they decided to kidnap a Jew in order to use his weapon and carry out an attack on policemen and worshipers at the Western Wall and Temple Mount. Two of the defendants, who were armed, picked up an Israeli hitchhiker from the Hizma roadblock exiting Jerusalem. When they realized that he wasn't armed they let him off at the entrance to Adam settlement.
The defendants are further accused of trying to purchase a hand grenade, but, according to the indictment, finally refrained doing so due to its high price, NIS 700. The indictment adds that the defendants tried to construct a pipe bomb, but failed. As part of their activity, the defendants carried out shooting practice with a hand gun at the Qalandiyah area in northern Jerusalem. The indictment adds that the Jerusalemites' contacts with Hamas activists in the West Bank were carried out via Facebook.
The defendants are accused of plotting kidnapping, assisting the enemy at the time of war, holding contacts with foreign agents, carrying out illegal martial training and possessing arms. The prosecutor's office requested that District Court Judge Moshe Sobel order them to remain in custody until their trial.