The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) has uncovered a plot by jailed
Palestinians to kidnap an Israeli citizen and use him or her as a bargaining
chip in securing their release.
The Shin Bet noted that the revelation
came just weeks after Israel had reached an agreement with Palestinian prisoners
ending a twomonth- long hunger strike, in which the prisoners had pledged to
refrain from engaging in anti-Israel terror activity.
The Shin Bet said
that the cell operated as part of a terrorist group called the “Holy Freedom
Fighters,” which split off from Fatah’s Al-Aksa Brigades in 2007.
group has been involved in the firing of rockets from Gaza into Israel as well
as a number of roadside bomb attacks against IDF troops patrolling the border
with the Gaza Strip. The Shin Bet said the group also served as something of a
proxy for Hamas, which provides it with financial and logistic
According to the security agency, the cell consisted of five
Palestinians, including three currently serving sentences in Israel prisons. One
of them, Ibrahim Animat, a 34-year-old originally from the Hebron area, is
serving a life sentence in Shikma Prison for the rape and murder of an Israeli
woman near Beit Shemesh in 2010.
The Shin Bet said that Animat served as
the liaison between cell members from the Gaza Strip and cell members from the
It also said the cell members initiated the plot while serving
time together in Shikma. After one of the members, Ramsi Arar, was
released from prison, he remained in contact with the other members and plotted
the kidnapping, which was supposed to take place in the coming
Last week, the Shin Bet revealed that it had arrested a number of
Hamas operatives who were plotting the kidnapping of an Israeli citizen or
soldier from the settlement of Kiryat Arba.
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