Palestinians arrested for plotting attacks on Israel minister, civilians

Elias Hubbard
February 18, 2018

Israel arrested six Palestinians suspected of planning attacks targeting Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman and other Israelis in the occupied West Bank.

Liberman, who lives in the West Bank settlement of Nokdim, was the target of a similar plot during Operation Protective Edge when a Hamas cell headed by senior Hamas activist Ibrahim Salim Mahmoud Zir, was broken up as they planned to hit the vehicle in which Lieberman was traveling with an RPG.

Some Palestinian prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to eleven years.

Another leader, Muhammad Ali Ibrahim al-Askara, 32, has twice been imprisoned for planning attacks and preparing an explosive charge to use in an attack.

The suspects were taken into custody following the arrest of members of another Islamic Jihad cell operating in Bethlehem area villages in the West Bank.

It was cleared for publication on Sunday morning that the members of a Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror cell were recently arrested for planning to harm Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman in a terror attack.

An investigation into the plan to kill the defense minister found that the cell members had been deterred by Lieberman's heavy security detail. After failing to obtain the explosives, they chose to make a dummy explosive charge that they could use to garner recognition for their work and receive money that would be used to carry out terrorist attacks. This explosive was apprehended over during their arrest. "These terror attack intentions demonstrate increased efforts by the Palestinian Jihad and terrorist groups in Gaza to escalate their activities in the recent period through their members in the West Bank", the Shin Bet said in a statement. This cell was hopeful to succeed in its mission after the Hamas cell in 2014 failed. "The security establishment will continue to operate with determination to thwart this activity and warns Hamas and the Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip of the repercussions of carrying out these attacks in Judea and Samaria, with the guidance of terror elements in Gaza".

Israel's internal spy agency, Shin Bet, announced in a statement that the detainees were active in Bethlehem, located about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) south of Jerusalem al-Quds, sought to carry out shootings against Israeli civilians and military forces.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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