Shin Bet: Dozens of Palestinian Faction Members Arrested for Planning West Bank Terror Attacks

Among the detainees are those who carried out attack in which 17-year-old Israeli teenager was murdered in August, as well as former Palestinian lawmaker Khalida Jarrar, agency says

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Israeli troops arrest Palestinians suspected of carrying out the terror attack that claimed the life of 17-year-old Israeli teenager Rina Shnerb, September 2019.
Israeli troops arrest Palestinians suspected of carrying out the terror attack that claimed the life of 17-year-old Israeli teenager Rina Shnerb, September 2019. Credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit

The Shin Bet security service said Wednesday that it has arrested some 50 members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in recent months, seizing large number of weapons.

According to the agency, three of those arrested had carried out the terror attack in which in the West Bank in August.   

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The said that some of the detainees were responsible for the shooting attack on a bus near the West Bank settlement of Ofra in December, 2017 and on vehicles near the settlement of Ariel in March 2019. No casualties were reported in either incident.

The heads of the network were former Palestinian lawmaker Khalida Jarrar, who according to the Shin Bet led the PFLP in the West Bank; Waleed Hanatshe, 50, from Ramallah who was arrested on suspicion of terrorism involvement; a-Razak Faraj, also a Ramallah resident and a one of the PFLP leaders in the West Bank who approved the attack in which Shnerb was murdered; and Itaraf Hajaj, who was responsible for PFLP's covert operations in Ramallah.

Israeli security forces arrest PFLP members suspected of terrorist activity in the West Bank.

Israeli security forces have arrested Jarrar several times in the past, including for incitement to violence.

The members of the terror cell involved in the attack in which Shnerb was murdered and her father Eitan and brother Dvir were wounded, were arrested in September. The cell was headed by Samer Mina Salim Arbid, a Ramallah resident and member of the PFLP.

The Shin Bet said that the explosive device used in the attack was prepared by Qasem Abed Rajah Shabli, 25, from the Palestinian village of Kobar. The third cell member was identified as Yazan Hussein Hosni, 25, from Ramallah.

The Addameer legal center that provided services to some of the detainees slammed the Shin Bet, claiming that the publication of the arrests is a blatant violation of the gag order the state has placed on the affair until December 31.

The center added that the Shin Bet revealed the arrests to cover up the fact that some of the detainees were tortured, especially Arbid, who , was hospitalized in serious condition after being interrogated by the Shin Bet.    

Addameer also condemned the agency for the inclusion of Jarrar in their statement due to "mere political motives," claiming that the information it released was not in line with the offense attributed to her by the military court, adding that she is only accused of holding a senior position in the PFLP.

DPA contributed to this report.

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