Three Palestinians – one of whom was a terrorist who underwent military training in Syria and all of whom belonged to a terror group established by former Fatah operatives – were behind a September shooting attack near Hebron in which a pregnant woman and her husband were wounded, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) released for publication on Tuesday.
The three suspects – Nabil Harab, Sameh Sahruh and Mahmad Nasrallah – were members of the Abu Musa terrorist group, which broke away from Fatah in the 1980s.
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During their interrogations, the three confessed to carrying out the attack, saying they had been given $25,000 from the group to buy weapons and planned to perpetrate additional attacks in the future. From the village of Dahariya in the South Hebron Hills, the three were apprehended in a joint IDF-Shin Bet operation in early October.
Harab, the Shin Bet said, served as the commander of the cell. In 1979, at the age of 15, he was recruited by Fatah in Jordan, where his family had moved shortly after he was born. He was then sent to Lebanon, where he underwent military training, and in 1999 returned to the West Bank.
In 2008, Harab traveled to Jordan and was recruited there by a senior Abu Musa operative named Iad Ma’at, who was originally from Dahariya but had been living in Jordan for the past 20 years. He was again sent for military training, this time to Syria, and after returning to Jordan received $25,000 and instructions regarding terrorist attacks the group wanted him to carry out in the future.
Harab then returned to the West Bank and enlisted Nasrallah into his newly formed terrorist cell. The two bought a vehicle and weapons that could be used in a series of attacks.
On September 26, the three decided to carry out their first attack and opened fire at an Israeli car driving near the settlement of Teneh-Omarim in the South Hebron Hills, wounding Sharon Zucker and his wife Neta, who was in her ninth month of pregnancy. She was delivered of a healthy baby boy at Soroka Hospital in Beersheba.
The three later confessed to planning additional attacks against Israelis and said that they had contemplated kidnapping an Israeli who frequently visited the village of Dahariya. A large arms cache was found in their possession, including a pistol and silencer, an anti-tank missile, night-vision goggles and a number of assault rifles.