|Photo by: REUTERS/Mohammed Salem|
IDF nabs 2 terror cells linked to West Bank rioting
By YAAKOV LAPPIN AND YONAH JEREMY BOB
Security forces arrested in November members of both terror cells allegedly behind a series of violent disturbances in the West Bank.
Security forces uncovered two terror cells that were allegedly behind a series
of violent disturbances in the West Bank in recent weeks.
were made in November, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) said on
The first series of arrests targeted suspects from Husan and
the Bethlehem area who are believed to have thrown rocks at an Israeli vehicle
on Route 60, which seriously wounded an Israeli woman, Ziyona Kala.
was hurt on November 20, allegedly when the cell decided to carry out several
attacks to take “revenge” on Israel for aerial attacks on terrorist targets in
the Gaza Strip during Operation Pillar of Defense.
First, the cell threw
rocks at a bus being driven by Avraham Babila, security forces believe. The
rocks broke the bus’s front and right windshields.
Next, the cell
allegedly threw rocks at the car of Hai Ibagi. The rocks broke the driver-side
windshield and wounded Ibagi in the face.
The cell then threw rocks at a
woman driving a Chevrolet, security forces say. The rocks damaged the body of
Kala, who was a passenger in Merav Weitzman’s car, was the last
to be attacked by the cell.
The cell waited until the car was two meters
away and then threw extra large rocks.
One of the rocks hit Kala and
caused a serious head wound.
Kala, wife of the wellknown singer Itzik
Kala, was in intensive care for weeks after the attack, before regaining
consciousness last month.
Her husband told Channel 2 in December that
when he first saw her in the hospital, “I didn’t believe she would live. Without
a doubt, there was a moment I fell apart. I don’t remember when I cried like
Since then, Ziyona Kala has made good progress in her
“During questioning by the Shin Bet, the suspects – some of
them minors – confessed to the act, and to throwing rocks at other vehicles that
traveled along the road at the time,” the Shin Bet said.
agency named Abd Aluhab Hamamra, 22, as the man who threw the rock that caused
the wound. He was charged recently in the Military Court of Judea. Four
additional suspects – three of them minors – will be charged for taking part in
The IDF prosecutor plans to call more than a dozen witnesses
in the cases.
In another investigation, a group of Palestinians from Kafr
Bita, near Nablus, are under arrest for throwing rocks from a moving vehicle,
and for attempting to carry out shooting attacks using a homemade firearm in
The Shin Bet said that the suspects confessed to being behind
violent disturbances and attempted shooting attacks. One of the suspects – a
minor – acted as a driver during the rock throwing, the Shin Bet added. A second
suspect, Hamza Abd Salah Khader, 22, a member of the Fatah Tanzim group,
confessed to being head of the cell, and to opening fire on Israeli
The suspects will be charged in the coming days in the Samaria
“We view rock throwing incidents as grave incidents,” the
Shin Bet said, “especially rock throwing from a moving vehicle, which creates a
The Shin Bet said similar attacks in the past
resulted in the murders of Asher Palmer and his baby son, Yehonatan, in
September 2011, when rocks were thrown at their vehicle from another moving
vehicle near Hebron.