Three suspects of a Hamas terror cell arrested by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) on suspicion of planning a kidnapping on Hannuka. .
(photo credit: SHIN BET)
A military court filed an indictment Wednesday against members of a Hamas cell that was planning to abduct and murder MK Yehuda Glick and an IDF spokesman in Arabic last week during Hanukka, according to The Jerusalem Post's sister publication, Ma'ariv.
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) cleared for publication on December 13 that it foiled the plot in the West Bank. The terrorists' goal was use the hostages as a bargaining chips in negotiations for the release of Palestinians held in Israeli jails.
The cell operated from the village of Tel, near Nablus, and was uncovered during the months of October and November.
“The Hamas headquarters in the Gaza Strip served as a financing entity, and the purpose of the attack was to promote negotiations for the release of security prisoners incarcerated in Israel,” the Shin Bet said in a statement last week.
The ringleader of the cell was identified as Mu’ad Ashtiyeh, 26, who is suspected of acquiring weapons and recruiting the other members of the cell, Muhammad Ramadan and Ahmad Ramadan, both aged 19.
According to the Shin Bet, the cell was in contact with Omar Atzida, a Hamas gunman and a member of the Hamas headquarters in the Gaza Strip, who is said to be working to promote the mobilization of armed action and the funneling of funds from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank.
The cell’s plan was to dress up as settlers from the area, allowing the target to feel secure enough to enter the terrorists’ vehicle.
The Shin Bet investigation also revealed that during the planning of the attack, cell members carried out meticulous intelligence gathering, scoping out popular hitchhiking stops and central junctions.
In addition, as part of the planning of the attack, Ashtiyeh inquired about places in the Nablus area the cell could hide the abducted Israelis in order to conduct the negotiations.
During the Shin Bet interrogation, the weapons that were supposed to be used by the cell members to carry out the abduction were seized, including a pistol, a taser and a gas spray.
Jpost.com Staff contributed to this report.