The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) has apprehended a Palestinian terror cell
from the Ramallah area which tried kidnapping a number of Israelis in the West
Bank throughout March.
Israel and the Palestinian Authority have arrested
nine youths, members of a cell led by Mahmad Ramdan, 22.
affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
According to the Shin Bet, the cell members rented a car in March
and traveled throughout the West Bank, where they tried unsuccessfully to kidnap
On March 11, the cell members attacked an Israeli driver near
Kiryat Sefer, blocking his car on the road and trying to pull him from the
vehicle. A day later, they attacked another driver near the settlement of
Ma’aleh Levona. They blocked the driver’s car and smashed the car’s windows, but
fled the scene after they spotted another car approaching.
On March 15,
the cell tried again and attacked a woman who was driving with her baby close to
midnight near the settlement of Beit El. The cell members blocked the road and
smashed the windshield, but fled after another car appeared nearby.
cell members obtained a taser, tear gas, and a lighter that looked like a gun,
and planned to hide the kidnapped Israeli in a cave or an apartment near
They then planned to film the abductee and post the video on
the Internet with a demand to release Palestinian prisoners from Israeli
Also Sunday, a Palestinian was seriously wounded in a failed
stabbing attack near the Gush Etzion Junction in the West Bank. The IDF said
that the man had approached soldiers with a knife, and when he attacked one of
the soldiers, he accidentally stabbed himself.
In 2011, the IDF recorded
around 20 attempts to kidnap soldiers in the West Bank.
have said that the increase in motivation was connected to the Gilad Schalit
prisoner swap in October.
Earlier this month, the IDF launched a media
campaign aimed at preventing soldiers from hitchhiking, based on fears that
Palestinian terror groups were more motivated than ever to abduct
Under the slogan, “Don’t catch a ride. The ride might catch
you,” the IDF’s campaign appears on billboards at train and bus stations and on