The Shin Bet and the Israel Police arrested a Palestinian man who was in Israel illegally, on suspicion of planning to kidnap an Israeli in the Western Galilee.
The suspect – whom the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) named as 25-year-old Murad Hassan Ali-Hassin of Kabatiya, near Jenin – confessed to plotting to kidnap an Israeli in Avtalion, in the Misgav region.
Affiliated with the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization, Ali-Hassin had been jailed in 2008 and 2009 after being convicted of plotting to stab a soldier at a West Bank checkpoint.
“He confessed during questioning by the Shin Bet to carrying out a number of attempted terrorist attacks in the Misgav Regional Council in April 2014, including an attempted kidnapping,” the agency said.
“On April 19, 2014, he attempted to enter a house in Avtalion, near Karmiel, armed with a knife, to kidnap one of the home’s residents for the purpose of negotiating the release of Palestinian [sec urity] prisoners. The plot failed after he was chased away from the area by the home’s residents,” the Shin Bet added.
The suspect also confessed to hurling fire bombs in April at Israeli vehicles traveling along Route 7955 – which connects Avtalion to the Maslahit junction – and at a vehicle near Kibbutz Eshbol. There were no injuries in those attacks.
Ali-Hassin tried to set fire to a forest in the area with a firebomb as well, the Shin Bet said.
He acted alone, but confessed to trying to get other Palestinians who were in the country illegally to join him in carrying out terrorist attacks. Several Palestinians were arrested along with him on suspicion of being involved in the attacks or knowing about them.
Haifa District prosecutors charged Ali-Hassin in district court on Thursday with attempted kidnapping for murder or blackmail, breaking and entering, aggravated assault, armed offenses, and deliberately endangering human life on a transportation route.
Shin Bet sources said the case was the latest indication of the “big risk inherent in the illegal entry of Palestinians into Israel,” and stressed the need to close gaps in the West Bank security barrier that enable infiltrators to pass.
“Recently we’ve seen growing involvement of Palestinians who are in Israel illegally in terrorist attacks, including the Tel Aviv bus bombing of December 2012, the abduction and murder of soldier Tomer Hazan in September 2013, and the murder of soldier Eden Atias in Afula in November 2013,” the sources said.