Shin Bet Arrests Three Palestinians Suspected in West Bank Shooting

Israeli authorities confiscate ammunition and weapons from the three members of Abu-Moussa group, a cell whose leader was trained in Lebanon and Syria.

The Shin Bet has arrested three Palestinian militants suspected of carrying out a shooting attack against two Israelis in late September, it emerged on Tuesday.

The three Palestinians belong to the Abu-Moussa group, a splinter faction of Fatah; the head of the cell received his military training in Syria and Lebanon.

Ofen Hagai / Archive

The suspects were charged on Tuesday at the Ofer Military Court. The defense establishment said that they admitted during their interrogation to plotting other terror attacks. Israeli authorities confiscated two M-16 rifles, a handgun, a LAW missile, a homemade explosives charger and mass amounts of ammunition.

The incident in question occurred on September 26, just hours before Israel's temporary moratorium on West Bank settlement construction was set to expire.

Sharon Zucker and his wife Neta, in the ninth month of pregnancy, were lightly wounded when shots were fired at them as they drove in the southern Hebron hills in the West Bank, near the Omerim Junction. The assailants also fired on another passing Israeli-owned car. One vehicle did not sustain any damage, but the other car, which was driven by Sharon Zucker, was pierced by bullets.

Neta Zucker was rushed from the scene of the shooting to Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva, where she gave birth to a son via Cesarean section.

The attack coincided with frantic diplomatic efforts to resolve the disagreement over Israel's West Bank settlement freeze, an issue that threatened the recently launched direct negotiations between Jerusalem and Ramallah.

In late August, four Israelis were shot dead in their car near the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba less than a day before Israeli and Palestinian leaders met in Washington for a summit to announce the talks. The attack, for which Hamas claimed responsibility, shattered years of relative calm in the West Bank.

One day later, two Israelis were wounded, one seriously, in a shooting attack near the Israeli settlement of Kochav Hashachar.