West Bank Palestinian Charged in FM Lieberman Assassination Plot

Ibrahim al-Zir allegedly organized a terrorist cell to fire a rocket-propelled grenade at the convoy of Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

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Foreign Minister Lieberman at press conference in Knesset, March 25, 2014.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi

A West Bank Palestinian man was charged on Thursday in Judea Military Court with heading a terrorist cell that planned to assassinate Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

According to the charge sheet, during Operation Protective Edge last summer Ibrahim al-Zir planned, together with other members of the cell, to purchase a rocket-propelled grenade and fire it at Lieberman’s vehicle in order to stop the war in the Gaza Strip.

The Shin Bet security service says it determined that members of the cell, all of them Palestinians from the Bethlehem area, studied the travel habits and security arrangements of Lieberman, who lives in the West Bank settlement of Nokdim.

The indictment specifies that the alleged conspiracy was organized locally and not on the orders of a terror organization.

According to the indictment, Zir decided to organize an attack on the foreign minister after noticing the movements of Lieberman’s convoy of vehicles, and to that end he measured travel times between various locations in the area.

Some days later Zir asked a man named Yusuf al-Sheikh, who was also involved in the plot and ask him to help him buy the grenade launcher.

Sheikh, according to the charge sheet, agreed to make inquiries on Zir’s behalf. Also implicated in the conspiracy are Zir’s brother Ziad and Adnan Sabikh, a neighbor of Ibrahim al-Zir who was asked to be the driver for the operation.

The cell was uncovered some weeks ago but details were not released for publication until late last week.